A crowd waits in line at the counter of Meeples Mughouse Saturday, ready to place their orders with Laura Powers and Alix Stolzer.

by Dave Warner

If you took the time Saturday to wander by Meeples Mughouse on Main Street, you would have been surprised by the opening day crowd. To say the least…it was packed.

Both Laura and Matt Powers had only one thing to say about day one “We survived.”

Matt stated “The first day was madness. It was fun and a little stressful, but it was really great. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support and interest that people had. It was awesome.”

The biggest problem the couple faced on opening day was the sheer number of people that showed up, and a lack of processes to handle that volume. Laura said, “Now we know how to multi-task.”

“We just couldn’t get caught up and that was the worst part. We had to make people wait, and that’s not what we want to do,” she said.

Most people were very understanding and forgiving of the first-day issues. “We had some equipment issues where things were not working quite the way we expected. We’ve since resolved that” stated Matt.

The best thing that happened for the couple was the fact that people truly appeared to be enjoying themselves. “The back room was full of people for hours, playing games, laughing and strategizing and just playing together,” stated Laura.

Another thing that surprised the couple were the comments in the box that is located in the business. “The first one we got was from a seven-year-old who wrote how he loves this place and thinks the world of it and that’s what really makes us tick,” she said.

Short term, the couple is already making some changes. Moving equipment around so that it is more efficient and creating a system of order taking that is more organized. “Now we can see more clearly what we can do in parallel from one order to the next,” stated Laura.

When the doors were locked and everyone was out after that first day, the couple sat in the back on the couch, put up their feet and said, “Oh my gosh, we survived.”

The next morning Laura woke up and asked Matt “What have we done, I’m scared, I don’t know if I want to go back.” He told her that it was going to be OK.

The couple feels that it’s good that they’ve already received a lot of suggestions from people who have attended. They’re thinking about different themes, a board game club for kids in the summer and that once they get the day to day flow down, they’ll be able to implement some of these ideas.

“Maybe there will be a chess competition, or a Rubiks Cube competition, Pitch Night, Dungeons and Dragons for beginners…things like that,” Laura said. They will also be involved in Think Local events and next month’s One City One Book program with a reading on April 5th.

The couple said, “We just want to thank everyone for being patient and understanding yesterday because it was a tsunami of activity and we love it. It’s just that it was terrifying.”

Laura said “We did our best and held our own. People know that we’re going to try and get better and improve and keep it fun and different.”

If you wear green on the Third Thursday event this week, March 21st, they’ll waive the game fee.

Meeples offers a variety of café beverages, grilled cheese paninis, soft drinks, soup/chili, and mug cakes. The board game café is open weekly Thursday 5-9 pm, Friday 5-10 pm, Saturday 2-10 pm, and Sunday 2-8 pm. You can follow their Instagram page, “like” them on Facebook, or check out their website www.meeplesmughouse.com.

Photo by Dave Warner - Matt Powers works on fulfilling orders as fast as they are coming in, during the opening of Meeples Mughouse on Main Street.

Photo by Dave Warner – Matt Powers works on fulfilling orders as fast as they are coming in, during the opening of Meeples Mughouse on Main Street.

Photo by Dave Warner - Laura Powers takes an order from a customer on her iPad.

Photo by Dave Warner – Laura Powers takes an order from a customer on her iPad while Alix Stolzer (background behind the counter) helps out.