Teresa and Jamie Colegrove want visitors to Packrat Comics to do more than shop.

Teresa and Jamie Colegrove want visitors to Packrat Comics to do more than shop. The couple wants customers to feel a connection to the store, Teresa said.

"We try to make it an experience when people come in," she said. "We want to make sure we can connect to the fans and make their trip to the comic book store a fun and memorable experience."

Having brought their children to the shop since they were small, the Colegroves also strives to create a family-friendly atmosphere.

-Melissa Kossler Dutton

Why did you choose Hilliard to locate your business?

This is where we live and, with the store in the middle of Old Hilliard, we're surrounded by schools. It makes it a great opportunity for kids to come in after school and play games or read comics.

What made you decide to open a comic store?

Jamie had a lifelong love of comics and always wanted to make them more available to people than they were to him as a kid. The comics weren't easy to find and the selection would be limited if some were found, and it was frustrating. Knowing a lot of his friends also enjoyed comics helped make the idea easier to accomplish so becoming a direct market retailer just seemed to make sense.

Tell us about some of the special events you host.

We host several events throughout the year. Some are spur-of-the-moment or part of industry events and others are annual events. Free Comic Book Day (the first Saturday in May) is an international event and is often the first time many people come in to a comic shop or it's the only time of year they return to one. So we spend a lot of time making sure it's a day they won't forget.

Are your children involved in the store?

Our oldest is 17 and our youngest is 13 and they are absolutely involved. They love it. Since my youngest was about four, he'd take charge with the little kids, showing them around and telling them which books are for kids. They both read comics and play games, help customers find things and make suggestions.Both have been ringing up customers since they were about eight. The best part is they have that sense of what kids want and helps us grow and expand for the younger fans.