The growth of Rock ‘Em’ Sock ‘Em Retro store has landed the gaming duo Jon and Kayla Minnear a larger storefront at 127 S. Main St.
The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce has scheduled a ribbon cutting ceremony for Wednesday at 11 a.m. to officially celebrate the store’s expansion.
Jon Minnear said the gaming culture within the city is on the rise.
“Business has been insane,” he said.
“Business has doubled every year pretty easily. What’s nice is that we established a core base of customer … which we’ve become really good friends with, too. I just went to a wedding of two core customers. Every year I have more customers because every year there’s more freshmen coming into Bowling Green.”
With the tag line “by collectors for collectors,” the couple has stayed true to their roots as passionate collectors.
“Years and years ago when we were just dating, she bought me an original Nintendo and she bought me a couple of games with it and I said ‘well I want the rest,’” he said. “For years we just collected video games of all sort and it got to the point with our collection that to get one game that we’d buy out someone else’s entire collection.”
As the couple’s collection grew, Minnear said Kayla started suggesting that the couple sell their extras.
“I had duplicates of everything and it started spilling over from my basement into the living room and then the dining room. She said it was time to do something and we started to sell,” Minnear said.
He said that it was his wife’s vision that turned their flea market business into a full-time operation.
“My wife is a force of nature — when she wants to do something she gets it done,” he said. “I never envisioned anything like this.”
As for the future of the store, Minnear said that he is hopeful, as downtown Bowling Green is evolving into a hub for what he loosely described as being “game and nerd culture.”
“For the most part, I think the college crowd is moving downtown. Between us, Cameron’s Comics and the Stack Decked there’s this gamer and nerd culture that’s coming back to BG. They don’t have to leave town to get video games or their comic books, magic cards or Warhammer stuff. Us three stores together are bringing it back, I guess,” Minnear said.
Minnear said they hope to offer more gaming options for customers.
“We want to eventually fill the front area with arcades. We also want to have a tournament room. We’re the only retro video game store that I know of that has an art gallery dedicated to local artists and pop culture related art. So we’re trying all of these new things, just keeping it fresh,” Minnear said.