Geeks Gambit is a new name and logo, but our foundations are more than a quarter of a century old.
In 1995, a little store in Mentor, Ohio was purchased by a local businessman who had been collecting for decades. For several years before that, he and his son had been working the local comic show circuit. He was trying to teach his son and daughter about business. He was also continuing to collect.
That store, Sports N More, grew over the years to have several loyal customers.
In 2020, the founder passed due to failing health and his son stepped in to take over the business he helped start. At his side, a dedicated employee who had been with the shop for 15+ years.
It had been 25 years. What had started as a small local shop offering comics, sports cards, and Magic the Gathering had grown. Products carried included baseball, basketball, football, racing, hockey, wrestling and other types of sports cards and memorabilia. Comics, graphic novels, and trade paperbacks were a large part of the store as well. So were various collecting supplies, statues, toys, and gaming. The store had diversified over the years. It certainly was sports...and more (emphasis on the 'more').
While the store has sat on a prominent corner in the bedroom community of Cleveland, Ohio, the team was surprised at how many people were coming in from the community that had 'driven by it for years and decided to finally stop in and check it out.' The calls for all sorts of sporting equipment helped cement the idea that it was time to shake things up a bit. The store was so much more than just sports.
As a result, Geeks Gambit was born. The store is dedicated to collectors from a variety of hobbies and gamers. These folk, whether they gleefully admit it (like the current owner) or not, are definitely geeks. They geek out over comic books, sports cards and stats, and rolling dice to see if they hit or not.
While Sports N More still sits proudly at the corner of Lakeshore and Reynolds Rd. in the suburb of Mentor, OH, the online presence will continue to grow and be known as Geeks Gambit. We look forward to being able to supply folks from all over the same personal touch and great deals that we do right here in the brick and mortar location.
Over the past few years we have watched the industry struggle and change dramatically from what it once was. We have had to update our own business model multiple times in order to meet demand (where and when we could) and, frankly, keep our doors open. It has been a crazy couple of years.
We have pretty much gotten out of comic books. We have been clearing out backstock and no longer order comics for the shelves. We do, however, still manage pull lists, bringing in new comics for those who pre-order. And, we can backorder more recent issues if someone missed one as well.
We no longer carry sports cards or many of the sports cards supplies we once did. We DO still carrying a variety of collecting and card supplies, but we have focused more on the supplies for standard-sized and gaming cards.
We have branched out and grown our board game, role-playing game, and related selection.
It's unfortunate to see some things go, but exciting to see new staples be added and our community grow. Let's face it, the community is the reason to keep the doors open. If our goal was merely to "sell stuff" we wouldn't have a customer-facing shop. We'd close the doors and run a warehouse. But, the community gives us a reason (and the means) to persevere and push on and continue to grow even in the upheaval of the industry.