A few months ago, I spoke with the owner of a shop called the Gaming Goat that would be opening in my hometown of Woodbury. This chain of stores sells board games along with products for other hobbies like Magic: The Gathering and even accommodate to roleplaying gamers as well. Recently, I caught wind of another shop in the chain opening in Eagan, so I looked up the owner of the new store, Dino Minutolo, to ask him about his store.
The Gaming Goat is a small franchise with locations, such as Dino’s, being independently owned. Dino takes a lot of pride in his shop and feels that the store’s customers will see how awesome it truly is. He explained to me that the store’s team did the buildout themselves, along with the help of several generous community members, which helps root this new shop into its community. With this kind of emotional investment, it is Dino’s hope that everyone feels like the store is as much their own as it is his, and he wants people will find it to be a welcoming and inclusive environment with a great variety of games and players to interact with. He is also eager to make friends with all the new frequent visitors. Like Andy Sherrill, the owner of the Woodbury location, Dino is an avid gamer, and he aims to bring the same kind of wonderful gaming community and that same sense of camaraderie to Eagan.
With the online market for buying games growing bigger and bigger, I had to ask: with the ever-better deals found online, does the Gaming Goat find its product prices are competitive? Dino’s reply was music to my ears. “I think most people will find our prices to be competitive with a lot of online retailers,” he said. “The Gaming Goat is known for offering 30 percent off MSRP for all allowable board games and expansions which puts us in line and sometimes cheaper than a lot of other sources—with no shipping, to boot! Coupled with the fact that people will be able to talk to us face to face for recommendations, and possibly even hands-on demonstrations of potential games of interest, customers will see the value in visiting us.”
I must say, I absolutely loved to hear that, and not for just the sake of my poor little wallet. Knowing that stores like this hold a competitive edge to the online market gives me hope that begin a board gamer will continue to blossom as a growing hobby. I am overjoyed at the idea of people being drawn to a new community to embolden their passions, and I also think that the Gaming Goat is just the place to do it.
The store in Eagan won’t be sitting idly by waiting for gamers to wander their way in, either: they will have a ton of events throughout the week, ranging from Magic to organized play for numerous board games. The shop takes feedback from the community very seriously, so if they get enough people that want to play a certain game and a certain day that works every week, Dino plans to do everything he can to accommodate. The Gaming Goat will also play host to a few role-playing groups as well, and there are a few other things in the works that are being kept under wraps for now. Stay tuned!
The grand opening for the Eagan location is July 8, 2017, when there will be raffles and demos of games running all day long starting at 12:00 p.m. The Gaming Goat is located at 1095 Diffley Road, Suite F, Eagan MN 55123, and you can stay in the know by following the store on Facebook.