Comic book and gaming fans in Guelph have recognized how good The Dragon is for quite some time. Now the store has been recognized by its peers.
Established 19 years ago by Jennifer Haines in the Old Quebec Street Shoppes, The Dragon recently received the Canadian Gift Association Retailer of Distinction Award.
The awards recognize “leading retailers in the Canadian giftware industry and celebrates the spirit of Canadian retail.”
Haines was born and raised in Oakville and came to Guelph to study classics at the University of Guelph. With work experience in the comic book industry Haines decided to open The Dragon upon graduation.
Not only has her business thrived since then, but Haines also achieved her Masters in classical studies and has received a Bachelor of Education and continued to teach for a number of years.
In 2016, Haines opened a second location in the South end of Guelph to bring another convenient location to comic enthusiasts.
Haines is keen on ensuring that all of her customers feel welcome and included in the comic book and game industry, which has been noticed by some of her loyal customers.
“I come here for everything I need, all the games I love, all the comics I love,” said Laura Root, an avid customer of The Dragon downtown location. “I didn’t feel weird about being into comic books when I first came here, I felt accepted.”
Laura’s friend, Colin Perkins added, “Sometimes there can be lot’s of ‘gatekeeping’ in this industry, but it’s fantastic that The Dragon employees are very welcoming to whoever walks through the door”.
Between the wide selection of products and valued customer service, it’s no wonder Haines has been selected as the Retailer of Distinction award for 2017.
Haines is preparing for a busy and successful new year.
“2018 is our 20th anniversary, so we're already starting to prepare for a big event in the fall,” she said.
Haines will be heading to Toronto to attend the Spring Toronto Gift Fair in January to receive her award.