How puzzles saved a Sellwood game store


Increase in sector spending: 27.8%

Like other stores in Portland, Cloud Caps Games in Sellwood has had to adapt in the face of the pandemic. The store is now accepting online reservations for curbside pickup; four or five patrons are allowed inside at a time, instead of dozens.

The product line that saved the store: puzzles.

Stuck at home, 20-30 year olds have joined the traditional senior clientele, buying puzzles to occupy them at home. “It’s been difficult ordering puzzles from our distributors,” says Alex Babakitis, 31, who bought the store in July with an associate after working there for five years. He stocked big business, but also pomegranate puzzles: “They’re local, so they’re easier to get.”

Cloud Cap managed to match last year’s sales numbers for November, thanks to a decent Black Friday and a better Saturday. “We managed to have a better small business Saturday than last year. I keep looking at the numbers,” he says. “It’s just been awesome to see how the community has proven to support businesses like us.”



Ravenswood Puzzles is the most popular brand. But customers usually choose a puzzle because they like the picture.

Chess games

These saw a boom in popularity after the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit became a hit.

Two player games

Popular editions include Jaipur and Aqualine.

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