The Holidays are officially happening, which means it’s time to find the perfect games for all of your loved ones. What better place to find those games than at our fantastic December Store of the Month, Uncle’s Games in Spokane, Washington! Our sales rep Jean nominated Uncle’s Games for its professionalism and extensive knowledge about games, making it the perfect stop for your Holiday shopping.
Uncle’s Games originally started as Book and Games Company in the 70s. Its first owners were Shannon Ahern and Chris O’Herra. By 1995 the store began to grow, and its two owners divided the store between them; Chris took the book side of the business while Shannon kept the games. I had the pleasure of talking to the store manager, Hans. In our discussion, Hans mentioned how Shannon was taking a big risk in pursuing the board game industry. At the time, board games weren’t due to spike in popularity for at least a decade. However, Shannon saw an opportunity to market and sell games in a way that no one had before. Since the split, the local business has expanded to a few locations including Uncle’s Games.
Hans didn’t come from a gaming family, but by sixth grade the local business had inspired a lifelong passion for board games in Hans. He remained involved with the company and only left to go off to college. When he graduated and returned home, Shannon hired him on to help manage Uncle’s Games.
According to Hans, the goal isn’t “just to sell games, but to make gamers.” Uncle’s Games endeavors to help customers expand out of the mainstream market to games that delve deeper into the spirit of gaming. Hans makes a point to get to know each customer so he can hand-pick a game he knows they will enjoy. Blue Orange’s games are often ideal for this, since many of our games are so quick to learn. Hans even mentioned that 1901 has always been a perfect game for families new to hobby gaming.
One of Uncle’s Games greatest successes is building a place for the gaming community to come together. They were one of the first businesses to coordinate gaming events that they could hold in their store. However, the first hurdle was discovering what the community wanted. The business’s gaming community included Dungeons and Dragons players as well as board gamers. It was a struggle to learn where and when to schedule each event. They eventually hired an event coordinator to work with each site. Now Uncle’s Games sponsors many scheduled events that continues to tailor to the fun-filled community it fosters.
Uncle’s Games is an incredible example of a retailer that builds a community. Blue Orange is proud to work with them, and we congratulate them for a well-earned Store of the Month Award. Check out for yourself why Uncle’s Games became this month’s winner and visit their main store at 404 W Main Avenue in Spokane, Washington. You can also check them out at any of their other locations or on their website.