It started with a desire to work for ourselves and give this community a place to gather that wasn’t a bar. A need for a gathering spot for like minded individuals to hang out, play games, make friends and have fun. It evolved into years of planning: business planning classes, business plans, cash flow projections, lease negotiations, loan applications and much much more. After getting all the planning done, half a dozen bank rejections quashed all our plans. Despite all our hard work, our dreams of opening a coffee shop were dashed.
The question was, now what do we do? Do we give up? Should we keep trying? Or we could go on to plan B. We were planning on opening a gaming store after the coffee shop took off anyways. Why not just open the game store and skip the coffee shop? We kept on trying a few banks for the coffee shop while we scouted possible locations for Dungeon’s End. There wasn’t a lot of hope, we had scouted the area for a year and knew there were not many locations available. Of course we hadn’t looked across the street from the only coffee shop in West Duluth. When we looked at the property we currently occupy, we knew the answer. I called the banks where we had outstanding loan applications being processed and told them our plans had changed, negotiated a lease, and started planning. We bought supplies, some counters and a folding table.
For 6 weeks, this table became the focal point of our lives.
It was where we drew up plans, set up our supplies and phones and notebooks. Its where we decided what to carry, and who to get it from. Its where we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner. As we put up slat board, positioned counters and painted we moved that little table plenty of times. It became cluttered with notes, rags, drink cups and pizza boxes, but remained a stable island in a constantly evolving environment. Now, when I walk through the store, I remember everywhere we sat around that little table, and how it reminds me how powerful gathering around a table can be.
Look around when you are in the store, you may just be using that exact same table yourself. With your own boxes of pizza.