- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
By Jodi Schwan
A family-friendly board game shop is coming to downtown Sioux Falls.
Ben and Amanda Wermers plan to open Game Chest inside the first-floor marketplace of the new Jones421 project on North Phillips Avenue.
Ben is a Sioux Falls native and Roosevelt High School graduate who met Amanda, a Colorado native, when she came to Sioux Falls to attend Augustana University.
They discovered their shared childhood passion for board games and started talking about opening the business several years ago.
“He has an engineering brain and likes to strategize, and for me it was about spending quality time with friends and family,” said Amanda Wermers, a sign language interpreter.
“We think there’s a need for a more family-friendly board game shop. We knew if we were patient the right opportunity would present itself.”
When they discovered the mix of small stores and restaurants assembling in the Jones marketplace, they committed to it in less than a month.
“Downtown Sioux Falls and the Hazards and what they’re building in Jones421 is exactly what we need,” Wermers said. “DTSF was very encouraging for retailers, and Jeff and Sheila have this passion for community and working together. Coalition-building is how it feels when we talk about the marketplace.”
Other businesses moving into the marketplace include Bella Rosa flower shop, Boki Gelato, Swamp Daddy’s Cajun Kitchen, The Source coffee shop and a Mediterranean restaurant.
Game Chest will be able to rent or sell board games to people who might then play them in the marketplace’s common areas or sit and have coffee or food at one of the restaurants, Wermers said.
“We’ll sell the most popular games we can find … cards games and dice games … and things people want to order through us,” she said. “And we want people to be able to try before they buy.”
They also anticipate renting out games for parties, groups and special events.
If the business goes well, they foresee adding a bar with games somewhere else downtown.
The plan is to open Game Chest by late summer, Wermers said.
“We’re really excited and hope Sioux Falls is excited, too.”
Ben and Amanda Wermers plan to open Game Chest.