Geek Retreat cafe set to open in Kettering town centre

Visitors will be able to buy and play 'geek' games and order food and drink at the same time

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 2:56 pm

A cafe where visitors can buy and play all things geeky will open its doors in Kettering town centre next year.

The husband and wife duo of Dan and Fiona Powell are currently decorating their Geek Retreat store, which will be based in the old High Street Oxfam unit.

The Wellingborough couple hope it could be ready for customers by the end of January - and are looking forward to providing something new for north Northamptonshire's geek community who currently travel elsewhere.

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L-R: Fiona, Dan and Ali Powell

Dan said: "We've had a lot of people say that they travel to Northampton from Kettering just to go to somewhere like this.

"There's nothing like it here at all - this area is kind of like a void for it and people go to the bigger ones in Leicester or Northampton.

"To bring something like it to Kettering fills that void and it will help people in the immediate vicinity and beyond."

The couple have found it difficult to gain employment in the past because of medical conditions and so, bored of being stuck at home, decided to look into creating their own venture.

The High Street unit

It was something they had wanted to do for years and, when a social media pop-up about being a Geek Retreat franchisee appeared on their screens, they decided to take the plunge.

Their cafe will be the latest Geek Retreat outlet, with others dotted around the country. There are branches in nearby Northampton, Daventry and Bedford.

Geek Retreat Kettering's cafe will sell paninis, sandwiches, crisps, chips, American candy, milkshakes, teas, coffees and more.

They'll also sell geek merchandise, including card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering, with board games on offer including those such as Warhammer and Dungeons & Dragons. There will also be plushie toys and game accessories such as dice, card boxes and playmats, as well as a play section where visitors can have a go at playing games.

And Dan said: "It's not just going to be about the geek community. We are going to have Boggle, Scrabble, Risk, Monopoly - it's going to be open for anyone."

Fiona added that they will be open to being used to host groups such as coffee mornings and parents and tots groups.

She said: "We want it to feel like a community hub where everybody can feel welcome."

The pair are currently decorating the cafe's main area, with the kitchen set to be installed. The unit's downstairs area will be converted to provide more tables and chairs.

Once open the cafe will have created five part-time jobs.

Dan admitted that it's daunting to launch the business during the Covid pandemic, especially given new the imminent threat of new restrictions.

But he said: "I have been biting at the bit to open. I have been wanting this for quite a while."