TWO local lads from Castle are set to fulfil their dream by opening a new comic book store and café in Barons Quay.

Friends Callum Franchetti, 26 and friend Kyle Preece, 29 have always shared a passion for ‘geeky’ pastimes such as comics, trading cards and video games.

And they are hoping that their passion will translate into a successful business after announcing that they are to open a franchise of Geek Retreat in Barons Quay.

The new Northwich store will be the 11th Geek Retreat in the country, and is seen as a big coup for the town considering other locations are predominantly big cities such as Birmingham and Leeds.

And after securing the lease for unit seven of the retail and leisure precinct, next to Puddle Ducks swim school and opposite Wildwood restaurant, the pair are aiming to be open and trading by the end of February.

“We know from our friend group that a store like this is something that will benefit Northwich,” said Callum.

“Opening our own comic book store is something we have been looking into for a long time, and after coming across the Geek Retreat brand, it’s took us a couple more years to save up enough money.

Northwich Guardian:

The store will be located next to Puddle Ducks and opposite Wildwood

“We’re very much two local lads who want to give something back to the community through this store, and Barons Quay is the ideal location for us to do that.

“We visited a gaming event at Geek Retreat Nottingham, and though that Northwich could have something like this.

“Barons Quay in particular is somewhere that could attract people into the town, and as well as helping to fill the precinct up, we feel the store will be a great addition to the town centre.

“It’s been a long process to get to where we are now and we could have opened the store quicker elsewhere, but Barons Quay fits with our vision to build something in the community that will benefit the community.”

As well as selling comic books, the unit will double as an events hub, hosting book signings, games tournaments and quizzes.

And as an added extra, the store will also have a built-in café selling delicious coffees, soft drinks, burgers, hotdogs, paninis, sweet treats and Geek Retreat’s signature ice-cream-based ‘supershakes’.

“We are both very excited to be opening and are really keen to get started,” Callum continued.

“There’s still a big list of things that need to be done, including putting up dividing walls and decorating as the unit is still a shell, but we are aiming to be open by the end of February.

Northwich Guardian:

The store café will sell Geek Retreat's signature 'supershakes'

“We’ve been working towards this for a long time and we’ve had a great reaction to the opening on social media, but we will only truly know how popular the concept is when we open.

“In truth, we’re just two geeky lads who grew up liking this sort of stuff, and I used to go around the country competing in Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments.

“The shop is based around stuff we are both passionate about, and we’re just both excited to get up and running.”

Once open, the store will have a lot of features for customers to get excited about, including TVs linked to retro and modern game consoles.

But moreover, Geek Retreat will be a hub for ‘geeks’ across the town to meet, chat and relax.

“As well as a shop, we will have an in-store café and will be hosting daily events such as Pokémon tournaments, meet and greet and comic book signings,” added Callum.

“There are a couple of other businesses in the area that cover different aspects, but none that bring a good mix of everything like ours.

“We feel we can all work together and be mutually beneficial, and we are not coming in to step on other people’s toes or to shut other stores down.

“We just want to create somewhere where people can relax, chat and spend time with like-minded people.”