Rochester business bringing hobby store to AustinPublished 11:20am Friday, August 29, 2014
A southern Minnesota business on the verge of expanding to Austin is looking to bring more than just sales to the community.
Kevin Guy plans to finish a deal next month to open Everything Hobby on Fourth Avenue Northeast near the Paramount Theatre. He currently owns the Everything Hobby at 1206 Seventh St. NW in Rochester’s Northgate Center, and the Austin store could open as soon as Oct. 1.
“I think think Austin has all kinds of potential,” he said.
Guy was in town Wednesday for a meeting to discuss Austin’s Downtown Master Plan, and he thinks his business fits perfectly. Fourth Avenue would put the business in what city leaders envision as the Cultural Corridor of downtown.
The business focuses on hobby items, especially remote-controlled cars, airplanes, helicopters, trains and more. The store also sells parts and teaches people to work on and repair the items.
But Guy is also interested in using hobbies for learning through Fuel My Brain, a program he started that’s dedicated to sparking interest in science and engineering through interactive exhibits and workshops.
With what he’s seen in Austin — from I.J. Holton Intermediate School’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) focus to Austin High School recently installing solar panels — Guy thinks the community will be receptive to his programs and classes.
“I just think you guys are really onto some neat stuff over there,” he said. “I think it’s going to be really good for all of us.”
But that program is only one way Guy is aiming to be involved in the community. He’s made several connections in Rochester, including programs at Mayo Clinic and working with the Rochester Ice Hawks hockey team.
He also started Trucks to Troops, a program that provides troops with remote-controlled trucks to help make their jobs easier and safer.
He’s already working to form similar relationships in Austin, and has been in touch with the Austin Bruins and Jay C. Hormel Nature Center about possible partnerships.
“We’ve just got a whole bunch of stuff that’s going to come together at once,” he said.
The store will likely have a direct video link to the Rochester store for technical support.
Guy plans to have the store feature an old world feel outside, but then have the modern models, remote-control cars and more.
“I want to feel like it’s an old world hobby store,” he said, adding he may put in wood floors.
Guy is looking for Austin people interested in building the programs and possible classes in town. He can be reached at the Rochester store at 507-285-1166.