MUSCATINE – With years of experience in modern role-playing games and the quest to start a business, Kory and Amanda Costello are now turning a beloved hobby into a business as Remi’s Arcane Exchange has opened its doors more early this month.
Upon entering the shop, located inside the mall in Suite 14 at 810 Park Ave., the walls are filled with the latest collectibles – roleplaying games, dice, card games, action figures, games society and more. There is a board game lending library for people to try out. The second room in the store is dedicated to tables where people can come and play. Named after their youngest daughter, the business is almost an extension of the Costellos’ playroom in their home.
“We started selling online – cards, collectibles and the like,” Kory said. “We outgrew our basement pretty quickly with that. We had to decide if we were going to go that route or if we were going to open a storefront.”
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Amanda, from Muscatine, had said the area needed this type of store – the closest card game store being Davenport and the closest game store being North Liberty. Kory said it made sense to launch the community game store in Muscatine.
The games that Remi offers include collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon. Players each have a deck of cards, each with different abilities. In role-playing games, each player creates an avatar to negotiate a fantasy world created by a game master. Kory said that with the popularity of the show “Stranger Things”, the Dungeons and Dragons game, featured in show, has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity.
Kory said during the COVID-19 shutdown, many people started playing role-playing games, but most played online. He commented that a Dungeons and Dragons game would soon monopolize Wednesday nights at the store. Tuesdays and Thursdays will feature card games. Saturdays will be open to games and Sundays will be dedicated to learning board games.
With the store opening on July 7, after the couple started selling online in January, Kory said the business has taken off quickly. He said the space was open and the location provides customers with access to West Hill Cakery. He said the building is being revitalized and there is a lot of foot traffic.
There will also be a selection of graphic novels in the store. Although space won’t allow for the latest names, there will be bundles to browse. Saying there is no bookstore in town, Amanda remarked that the area needs a place to offer such books.
“I think we have something for everyone that they will love and appreciate,” Kory said. “It’s a stream of items that they have to travel to get. And the friendly atmosphere to get these games and play them is promising.