Therese Nguyen never would have imagined her business making it to its fifth year anniversary, let alone it’s sixth. Delight, the family owned anime and game shop in downtown Cottage Grove hosted several activities on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to commemorate the occasion.
“I just wanted to have a cute store on Main Street,” Nguyen said. “I had no idea we’d be here for six years.”
The celebration’s events were meant to highlight the various community activities the store hosts. Nguyen said Delight is meant to be a community gaming space for all ages. Activities included a cosplay and anime meetup, trivia and card games, professional yoyo player Will Prater and Henna artist Vesta Snyder in attendance. Several prize giveaways occurred throughout the day. Prizes included goody bags, promo booster packs, and slime.
Delight carries various game accessories, anime collectables, and other unique gifts.
Store inventory includes colorful socks, small toys, journals, keychains, plushies, pins and cosplay wigs among many other things. Candy, ice cream bars, sodas, ramune, pocky, and other treats can also be found on sale. Nguyen said they sell novelties in order to stand out in the area.
“It’s hard to make it in a small town, especially when you’re competing with big box stuff,” Nguyen said. “So we tried to get unusual stuff.”
To kick off the celebration, the first 100 people who arrived received cookies shaped as the character catbus from the anime film My Neighbor Totoro. Fans of Attack on Titan, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Sword Art Online, Fairy Tail, Soul Eater and many other animes are sure to find something in the store to enjoy.
“I didn’t know if people in Cottage Grove would like anime, but it was a huge hit, “ Nguyen said.
On Nov. 2 the store launched a Lego Robotics after school program. Delights partnered with Eugene Sudbury School, Opal Center for Arts and Education and Bohemia Elementary to provide the program. Using Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits and software, kid’s grades 3rd through 5th get the chance to learn step by step programming. The after school program runs from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the month of November. The program takes a break for the holidays for the month of December and starts up again in January.
As Delight is positioned in a niche market, Nguyen said they have to rely on the community for support. Nguyen was able to receive an Oregon Individual Account Grant from Aprovecho, a local nonprofit, to help support the business. For every dollar saved, the program matches with a $3 grant, up to a total of $9,000, lasting for a six month to three year period.
But to Delight’s owners, the business has never been about raking in huge profits. Nguyen said she just wanted a youth friendly store on Main Street that even her daughter could enjoy. Many of the kids who visited Delight since it first opened have now grown up. Nguyen’s enjoyed watching kids who were once in middle school continued to visit the store as young adults.
“It’s not about making money. You do it because you care about where you live. I got into it to have a place in a small town where people can have fun,” Nguyen said.
Delight is located on 538 E Main St. and open Tuesdays to Fridays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 11a.m. to 6 p.m. Delight moved to its current location a year ago in order to have a larger space.