Katherine Jantz and Kyle June pose in their new business space, Doodles and Dragons.
by Dave Warner
If you haven’t noticed, there is a door on the east side of the Little Falls Antique Center, and it’s a very cool space that now houses Doodles and Dragons. Kyle June and Katherine Jantz opened the business during the Garlic Festival.
June was born in Wisconsin, moved to Indiana when he was young, and grew up there until he was 18. He met Jantz online, and he moved to Maryland with her when he was 20. They then moved to her mother’s home in the Adirondacks before heading to Utica for three years and then finally to Little Falls.
June said that his father was big on the gaming scene. “He played the original Starcraft and Diablo when all of that came out. I have memories when I’m 2, 3 & 4 years old of playing the original Nintendo.”
“I’ve been gaming in some form or another my entire life. It’s just part of who I am at this point,” he stated.
Jantz’s story was similar, with more game time with her family, playing Doom and Quake, and Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games like World of Warcraft.
The couple met on a Minecraft server, and they didn’t really care for each other at first. “She lived a decent way away in the game, and she brought a couple of her animals to my house as a way of saying sorry, and I was completely ungrateful for what she did,” he said.
He then started working for her in the game, and then they started playing other games together. “Eventually, one of us asked the other if we were dating, and that’s when we decided we were dating.”
They moved to Little Falls about three years ago. “We were looking for houses in the City because my little brother and family were planning on moving here because of the hospital and so much that is here,” stated Jantz.
“We found a house within our price range that is amazing, so we bought it,” June said.
The couple has always had retail jobs of some sort, so starting their own business seemed natural to them. “We knew Meeples had gone under, so we knew it was the perfect time for us to open our store.”
June said they had researched the idea of a game store for 2-3 years. “Her cousin is bipolar and also autistic, so she works through a program called RCIL (Resource Center for Independent Living) to help take care of him. He has always loved the idea of a game shop here, so it was just a combination of things that worked really well.”
“I enjoy being in retail and talking to people, and she loves making art. I really want to facilitate an area where people can come, play some board games, and just enjoy themselves for a few hours. That is what I want. I have no age restrictions on who can come in here,” stated June.
For those that are more die-hard gamers, they have dice and miniatures, and they host tutorials on how to build character sheets for different games.
They have two coolers with typical beverages and snacks if you get hungry. “We’re thinking about doing some fancy teas and things when winter comes. We only want to offer new things,” he said.
They are both very focused on the community aspect of what a space like this might bring to the City. “We’re not really looking for a profit-driven business right now,” stated Jantz.
Plans include a trading card presence and the hosting of card tournaments.
They are closed Monday and Tuesday and open Wednesday & Thursday 2-8, and Friday 2-10, Saturday 12-8, and Sunday 12-6.