Scott Copeland, the owner of Board Game Cafe, loads up the last of his deliveries into his car and hops into the driver seat. He has a few orders to deliver to his customers who made purchases from his new online store. Copeland drives to his destination and grabs the package from the back of his car. He walks up the front porch steps of his customers home and sets the package down by the door.
The Board Game Cafe launched its new online store April 10 and has been selling games, coffee and Jones Soda packs to customers within Maryville city limits.
“We posted on social media and within about an hour I had two orders,” Copeland said in a phone interview.
The Board Game Cafe averages about one to three sales a day and is approaching 30 sales total since opening their online store, Copeland said.
Copeland also said he wasn’t sure how the sales were going to go since Maryville is a small community, and the Board Game Cafe is currently just selling to people who live inside the city limits.
Copeland have not figured out a way to deliver outside of the community. Copeland is making all of the deliveries by dropping them on front porches or in mailboxes so he can maintain social distancing. He also opens the store from 3-4 p.m. so customers can come and pick up their orders, rather than having them dropped off.. Customers may pull up curbside and Copeland will bring out the order wearing gloves and maintaining social distancing as best as possible.
“As (the online store) grows a little bit more popularity, we’re considering expanding that a little farther,” Copeland said.
Copeland said the online store is not only convenient for customers, it also provides some normalcy for people who are stuck at home. Many of Copeland’s regular customers are stuck at home with nothing to do like many Maryville residents. These customers are no longer able to stop by the Board Game Cafe and pick up a steaming cup of coffee.
“Even if people are stuck at home … everybody’s routines are disrupted and everyone is just looking for some normalcy right now, and, you know, if I can at least offer them a good cup of coffee while they are stuck at home,” Copeland said.
Kelsey Noble is a customer at the Board Game cafe who has been regularly visiting the cafe since the business opened in January 2018. Noble and her husband both enjoy games and would regularly visit the Board Game Cafe to try out new games.
“It turns out we were actually the first order that he had because we were so excited,” Noble said.
Noble said she and her husband were bummed when the store closed but were happy to hear that Copeland was finding new ways to reach the community. Noble and her husband ordered some new games and coffee from the Board Game Cafe online store. She also said she was happy to support a local business that also supports other local businesses.
Copeland said the Board Game Cafe buys its coffee beans from local areas. Thus, when his customers support the Board Game Cafe, they are also supporting other small businesses.
“We only deal with other small businesses — our coffee roasters — I know the name of the guys that do our roasting,” Copeland said.
Lori Blake is another customer of the Board Game Cafe. Blake and her family have been attending the cafe for over a year. She usually takes her husband and three kids to play board games and hang out together.
Blake said she ordered a game from the cafe’s new online store on a day that they were not open and received the package the next day.
She said Copeland hand delivered the game by placing it on their front porch as she had requested when she ordered the game.
“If I plan to purchase any more board games, I will definitely be ordering from the Board Game Cafe,” Blake said in an email to the Missourian.