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Owner says Tales of Tomorrow closes in on profitable status
Coffee shop, bakery will adjoin comic book, cosplay business
FARMINGTON — Downtown’s Tales of Tomorrow comic book shop is close to becoming a money-making operation even as the local business completes final touches on its planned coffee shop and bakery.
Steve Clark, one of the owners, said the Cosmic Café is still in the works, and that the business is working with the building owner and contractors to finish electric work, plumbing and some small cosmetic projects before the coffee shop and bakery is ready to open.
“Everybody is very eager for the café to open,” Clark said at the shop at 220 W. Main St. on Wednesday.
The Cosmic Café will feature “fancy coffee,” baked goods and sandwiches made in house by co-owner Lauren Harris, Clark said.
The local business is staffed by Clark, Harris and third co-owner Derek Lovell, as well as five part-time employees. Clark said he and his partners recently have accepted résumés for potential hires in advance of opening the café and bakery, which he said are “a little more labor-intensive” than simply running the comic book shop.
There is no set date for the coffee shop to make its debut, though Clark said he hoped it would be soon.
In the meantime, the comic book shop is closing in on becoming profitable in its first six months in business, Clark said.
“We’re nearing the break-even point,” Clark said. “It gets better every month. … I think by the end of summer, we might be in really good shape.”
The shop is also “trending upward” in terms of attracting walk-in and returning customers, Clark said. Tales of Tomorrow saw 122 new customers and 100 returning customers over the course of March, according to Clark.
“It does indeed seem that Farmington needed a comic book shop,” Clark said. “The nerd-slash-geek community was underserved, and hopefully we are meeting their needs.”
Tales of Tomorrow opened in November as a comic book shop that also features cosplay materials and products, and a variety of fiction and nonfiction books. Clark said he sees the business becoming a hub for various demographic groups in the Four Corners.
The shop hosts weekly walk-in drawing groups for open sketch nights and monthly cosplay gatherings, which Clark said are becoming so popular they are outgrowing the space.
“The fact that other elements of the community are beginning to recognize that we are a gathering place for creative types is really inspiring,” Clark said.
Clark said group meetings will move to the coffee shop space when it’s ready, and he hopes the café will attract other local groups, as well.
“We hope to host the local community theater group doing their play selection readings, and we’d love to have the local writers group find a home in our café,” Clark said. “Expanding those kinds of opportunities to network and think of us as kind of a hub for creative hobbies and hobbies that intersect with comic books and literature and nerd culture is exciting to me.”
Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.