BUSINESS OWNER: Rachel Tudehope and Drew Parvu
BUSINESS NAME: So Many Board Games
MAIN PRODUCTS/SERVICES: A large board game library
LOCATION: Located inside Brightside Cafe
Short description of your business:
So Many Board Games is a board game café found in downtown Sioux City offering a location for friends and families to gather and play board games while enjoying delicious food.
What motivated you to start your business? What drives you each day?
We took a look around and realized that it is difficult to find entertainment in the evening that isn’t a bar. We’re a college town but you wouldn’t know it. We want to enrich Sioux City and provide a location that brings folks together.
What’s unique about your business?
Our wide variety of games means that we have something for nearly everyone. Trying to find somewhere to take your date? We’ve got the perfect two player game for you. Looking for a space to enjoy the evening with your family? We’ve got the game to bring you all together. Want to establish dominance over your friends? We’ve got that game too. Toss in the awesome food and you have a venue that encourages face to face interaction Sioux City hasn’t seen since the kitchen table. We even clean up the mess for you!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as you’ve grown your business?
Starting from the ground up establishing our business through word of mouth has been a slow process. It’s something that we are overcoming though. It was exciting to hear someone we didn’t know say that they had heard of us.
What has been your greatest reward?
Watching a table celebrate after finishing a particularly difficult cooperative board game. Seeing the joy on the face of a patron after coming back and winning against nearly impossible odds. Seeing a family enjoy each other’s company over a game of Pretty Pretty Princess. We facilitated that. We helped those folks find entertainment and each other outside of their screens and it feels amazing.
How have you benefited from the startup community in Sioux City and the region? What resources did you use?
We were fortunate to be a part of the Sioux City Innovation Market. It gave us a much needed boost to get our business up going. Primarily, though, we have found that working with other small business owners in our area has helped us get past hurdles we may have never gotten over without them.
Are there any experiences that were particularly influential in that regard?
Todd Rausch at Western Iowa Tech helped us write up our first business plan while also giving us the encouragement and positivity to push forward with our ideas. Karen Beazley Gold helped us find our feet as we held our very first event at the Sioux City Makerspace. Gia Emory provided us encouragement and access to the Blue Café to use as the first location for So Many Board Games. James King of Games King shared his experience with us and has helped us avoid many pitfalls and remains an invaluable resource for knowledge on all things board games. Juan and Eric Munoz are granting us access to their space at the Brightside Café allowing us to be open more days during the week and helping get the word out by using their large online social media presence. Without all of these generous people we would not be where we are today.
Why is it important for the community to support startups and small businesses? What more can be done to help them?
Small businesses help keep money in the community. They also provide resources and opportunities tailored to the community that they reside in. Buy Local initiatives are a fantastic way to help startups and small businesses.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business?
Just do it! Take it a day at a time. Perfect is the enemy of good. Ask for help. Never stop pushing forward. You got this.
How can the community continue to help your business?
We need help getting the word out. We feel that we have something valuable to offer Sioux City. We just need to make sure that folks know that we’re here. Currently we are located inside Brightside Café in downtown Sioux City with the following hours of operation:
Thursdays: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fridays: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturdays: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Sundays: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
What are some future goals for your company?
Our next big step is going to be moving into a space that is all our own. Not having to move the board games up and down the stairs every day is going to be fantastic. We may need to get a gym membership to replace the exercise but it’s a sacrifice we’ll be happy to make.