Meet independent business owner, Jennifer Haines of The Dragon. Guelph’s award-winning specialty comics, games and toy store has been a fixture in Downtown Guelph for over 20 years.
The Dragon opened in September of 1998 at 123 Wyndham St. before it made its way into Old Quebec Street Shoppes. The Dragon has remained in it’s current home at Old Quebec Street for over 10 years. A second location opened in 2016 on Gordon Street and a third location opened in Milton, June 2018.
Jenn has seen multi generations of customers at The Dragon. The groups of younger people that visited the store in the early years are now arriving with their young children. “It’s pretty wild. It really puts things into perspective. It makes me feel really old as well,” she says with a laugh.
Over the last 20 years, The Dragon has won numerous awards. They include the Reader’s Choice Awards, CanGift Retailer of Distinction Award, and the prestigious Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, recognizing the best comic stores in the world.
The Dragon is a labour of love for Jenn and her family, which includes husband Robert and their two daughters, Junia & Darwin aged 5 & 7. Long days and hard work are part and parcel of operating your own business but Jenn and family take it in stride. Jenn also serves as vice-president for ComicsPRO, the only organization for comics retailers, and travels extensively working to make the industry a better place. When Jenn is not busy being a wife, mother, business owner, etc., she can be found harmonizing with her competitive women’s barbershop quartet, Bluebird. Bluebird has been performing for 3 years for fun, local gigs and vocal competitions in US and Canada.
The Dragon has long been a supporter of Downtown Guelph and is thrilled that their Trick or Treat event has grown to the popularity of late. The Trick or Treat event partnerships with DGBA and draws 1,000+ costumed participants, young and old. On the Saturday before Halloween, participants visit various business in the area for treats and end up at The Dragon for free comics, raffle prizes, and more.
Last year while celebrating their 20th Anniversary, The Dragon hosted a Comic Con in Old Quebec Street. The event was complete with Spiderman, Batman, Batmobile and guest comic creators. The event’s popularity last year has prompted Jenn to making it an annual event. Mark your calendar for the 2nd annual event on September 14th and 15th!
Jenn and The Dragon look forward to seeing you soon. For more information about The Dragon, visit www.dragonguelph.com