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Linda Schmidt, Cat & Mouse Game Store
by The American Speciatly Toy Retailing Association   |   September 13   |   1 Comment
Nothing says childhood like grabbing your friends (or family!), gathering around the kitchen table and breaking out a favorite board game. We caught up with Linda Schmidt, co-owner of Cat & Mouse Game Store to hear how she became involved in the game industry and to learn more about her store -- including what happens when they host the monthly meetings of Chicago’s Yoyo Club!

How did you wind up in the specialty toy and game industry?

In my previous lives I worked as a medical research librarian, web developer, database administrator, and I even went to cooking school. Without any experience in the toy or game industry, I decided it would be a fun challenge to open a game store. I've always loved board games and puzzles and there wasn't a store in Chicago that filled that niche well, so I decided to jump right in.

What is your favorite game of all time? Why?

I honestly can't answer that. There are so many wonderful games that I love, it would be like asking me to pick a favorite child! I can tell you some games that I'm currently enjoying, though: Cribbage, Dominion, 7 Wonders, Set, Roll Through the Ages, Dixit, and Glory to Rome.

What does game night look like at your store?

During game night we usually have 3-4 tables of adults or families with older children playing strategy games. We almost always have something new that we're ready to demo, but mostly people just browse through our large game library and play whatever catches their fancy. Lots of people come on their own rather than in groups, and its a fun, easy way to socialize with other people who share a love of board games.

Your website says that you host the Chicago YoYo Club. Can you tell us about that?

There's a very active yoyo community in Chicago, and its growing bigger every day. Every week we host a session that's geared to newer players who want to improve their skills, and we're incredibly fortunate to have Ben Conde, one of the country's top yoyo players, here to teach. He's sponsored by YoYoJam (also a member of ASTRA) and is really committed to growing the sport and inspiring players wherever he goes. His enthusiasm is infectious! The yoyo club also holds larger monthly meetings that are very social, and is organizing the Illinois States YoYo Competition that will be held in November as part of the Chicago Toy and Game Fair.

One of the things we’re highlighting on The WooHoo Factor this week are tips for starting your own family game night. We know that one thing goes hand-in-hand with game night -- snacks!! What’s your favorite game night snack?

Actually, we don't usually snack while we're playing games. Sorry for the boring answer!

Comments (1)    expand/hide comments
Sari Powazek  |  September 23
I love to have a large bowl of fresh fruit on hand. Everyone can pick what they want to nibble on & of course, it is healthy.
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