Braxton Brewing co-founders and father-son duo Greg and Jake Rouse combined their dual passions for card collecting and craft beer in their latest business venture with the opening of Hit Seekers Sports Cards in Fort Mitchell.
Greg Rouse is a self-proclaimed “card shop guy”. He says CityBeat in a recent interview, he started collecting sports cards in 1971, and he and his two sons, Jake and Evan, visit local card stores together whenever they travel.
Hit Seekers started as an online streaming business on Facebook Live and the Loupe app, a live e-commerce streaming platform designed for sports card collectors. Two years of resounding success led the Rouses to try their luck opening their own physical store.
Currently, the store offers a large inventory for all levels of collectors. While Hit Seekers focuses on sports trading cards like baseball, basketball, and football, they also offer more niche franchises in the market.
High-end collectors can find a $30,000 Tom Brady card, a $22,000 Joe Burrow card, and a rare Ken Griffey Jr. card from his time at Archbishop Moeller High School, to name a few. -ones. The value of these cards, according to Rouse, depends on the player, year, rarity, and brand. Budget and economy boxes are also available for the common collector.
Hit Seekers also offers non-sports cards, like Pokémon, Star Wars, and Topps Formula 1 trading cards. Greg says the store continues to expand that inventory.
Greg describes the newly built store as “not like any card store you’ve really ever seen before”.
He means that literally. Hit Seekers’ is built to replicate the feel of a baseball stadium – the floor is covered in astroturf and also has earth-toned concrete painted with white baselines to resemble a baseball field.
“When you walk through the front door of the store, it’s basically like you’re in the center field of a stadium,” he says.
Unlike traditional card shops with rows of white boxes and little space to shop, Hit Seekers uses what it calls a “modern” approach to card trading with an emphasis on fostering a community. While display cases run the length of each wall, the store’s layout is mostly open and focuses on a community table where the Rouses plan to host trade nights, inviting collectors to congregate and converse about their best collections.
Once shoppers have made it to the “house dish”, they can relax, watch TV and purchase a canned Braxton beer, water or soda from the store’s glass bar, which features some of the most coveted and most coveted of Hit Seekers. diverse inventory, including PSA-rated Michael Jordan cards and cards of other top athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods.
“Everyone will feel comfortable here and fit in here, regardless of their collecting tastes,” says Greg.
While operating brick and mortar, Greg says the Rouse family plans to continue to grow their online business through the Loupe app with the help of two in-house studios for direct selling.
“(It) makes it very modern from an e-commerce platform – the ability to buy in person or online,” says Greg.
Shoppers are invited to view one of the studios through a car wash-style window and watch a live streamer “break a deal” – opening and describing the contents of a pack of trading cards for the buyer remotely on Loupe. Rouse has a staff of five who operate the studios, selling and broadcasting 15-16 hours a day, seven days a week.
Greg says the concept of Hit Seekers’ success is simple: “Make it cool. Store it well. And build a sense of community.
Hit Seekers’ collection is “extensive and continues to grow,” says Greg. He continually rummages and pulls from his previous collections to find new stock available for sale.
Hit Seekers currently allows the public to enter and sell personal collections at the store, however, between the public’s strong demand to sell and Hit Seekers’ high selectivity for their inventory, Rouse plans to switch to buying by appointment. you only.
Keeping things family-owned, Hit Seekers is located at 2501 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell, attached to the Braxton Barrel House.
Find hours of operation and learn more at hitseekerscardbreaks.com.
Stay connected with CityBeat. Subscribe to our newslettersand follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Send CityBeat a news or story tip or submit calendar event.