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Business: Dean’s Dugout

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Address: 2035 S. Washington St., Naperville

Phone/website: 630-527-8888, www.deansdugout.com

Owners: Marilyn and Dean Bapes

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Opened: Oct. 1, 1991

What does this business do? “We’re all about sports cards and collectibles. And we do some gaming cards, too, such as Pokemon, Magic The Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons,” Marilyn Bapes said. “We additionally action altered gaming contest for Cub Scouts and parties and signings.”

What was the catalyst for aperture this store? “My bedmate and I accept been collectors anytime aback we were little kids. Now we aren’t little kids anymore but we’ve been accomplishing it for many, abounding years. We capital to (create) an ambiance area kids can accept the aforementioned adventures that we had.”

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What’s the best affair about actuality in Naperville? “Originally, afore we opened this location, we were on Wehrli Road for 16 years, and we aloof adulation the community. There are a lot of kids that appear to our store, and we are committed to kids. Our logo is, ‘Dean’s Dugout – Area kids are VIPs.’ We affectionate of baby to kids and try to accomplish one of their aboriginal arcade adventures as absolute as possible. And this location, we accept a aces landlord. It’s aloof a absolutely acceptable accumulation of people. Our neighbors actuality are aloof all so wonderful.”

What is the better claiming about actuality in Naperville? “Nothing at all. The bodies in Naperville, if you booty affliction of them and appearance them respect, they are committed to acknowledging the businesses in their community.”

Daina Saleh / Naperville Sun

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In accession to baseball and sports trading cards, Dean’s Dugout in Naperville sells d trading cards, collectibles and memorabilia.

In accession to baseball and sports trading cards, Dean’s Dugout in Naperville sells d trading cards, collectibles and memorabilia. (Daina Saleh / Naperville Sun)

When is your busiest time of year? “Oh my gosh, that’s adamantine to say because we are active year around. I would say apparently aback kids aboriginal get out of academy and afresh acutely afresh about Christmas time.”

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What is the best accepted items you sell? “If it was sports, it would be baseball cards. If it was non-sports, it would be Magic The Gathering.”

What is the affair you best like to do as allotment of your business? “Again, it’s activity aback to the kids. We accept a affairs called, ‘Be the best you can be,’ and it’s a affairs area we accolade the kids with a $5 allowance agenda from Dean’s Dugout for their grades. It’s a abundant incentive. It supports the parents and their efforts and sports in school. My husband, he’s additionally a academy professor, he believes in education. And the kids aloof adulation it. They aloof adulation that their adamantine assignment gets adapted into article they can buy or want. We’ve been accomplishing this, oh, I would say able-bodied over 20 years now.”

What is your atomic admired affair to do? “Hmm, you apperceive what, we’ve consistently said that we’re activity to accumulate accomplishing what we’re accomplishing for as continued as we’re accepting fun. And we are accepting fun. So, I couldn’t absolutely analyze annihilation I’m not too crazy about, to be honest.”

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What is the best affair about owning your own business? “Having flexibility. The adaptability to do what we want.”

What is the better downside? “It’s a lot of adamantine assignment and a lot of time and commitment. Alike admitting we are bankrupt on Mondays, our easily are in some allocation of the business seven canicule a week. So I would apparently would say the alone abrogating is, and I don’t appetite to alike alarm it a negative, is that if you appetite it to be acknowledged … you accept to be there for your customers. It takes time.”

How would you call your business philosophy? “We appetite to accomplish sure, whether it’s an developed or a kid, but primarily a kid, we appetite your acquaintance to be absolute here. Prime example, aback I accelerate out a blog about an autograph signing, it consistently is concluded with the line, ‘Come in as a chump and leave as a friend.'”

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How has your business afflicted over the years? “I anticipate there is aloof a lot added bodies that are accepting into it. A lot added collectors. Especially in agreement of sports. You’ve got a lot added parents that are bringing their kids into the store, collecting. … I don’t anticipate bodies accept that aback kids alpha accomplishing collecting, you additionally admonition them with their reading, acquirements stats. Also, the accession gets kids abroad from sitting in advanced of computers, and it does advise them some interpersonal skills. … I anticipate you’ve got a lot of parents that are accepting the kids into this, because they appetite them to apprentice and get complex and maybe they were collectors aback they were kids. And it’s aloof so abundant fun! Aback you accessible a backpack and you get that agenda that you wanted.”

What admonition would you accord addition cerebration about starting a business? “Find article that you are amorous about. If you get complex with article you accept a affection about, afresh you wind up accepting a lot of fun with what you’re doing. And, you know, seek added people’s adventures and connections. Don’t feel you accept to do it all on your own. Booty added people’s input. That’s what we did.”

Daina Saleh is a freelance anchorman for the Naperville Sun.

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