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A few well-placed rolls of the dice past the Eastern Market Metro station will land gamers at the door of Labyrinth Games & Puzzles on Pennsylvania Avenue SE.
Upon entering, customers will find owner Kathleen Donahue and her staff stocking the shelves with an array of games such as Magic the Gathering and Settlers of Catan.
The groups of retired scrabblers and young dungeon masters sitting at tables in the back are a far departure from her previous clients at a small consulting firm — but she likes it that way.
When Donahue started her store at 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE in November 2011, she had the idea of selling gifts and games for school-aged children. Then, Capitol Hill moms began telling other adults about her store and a devoted adult clientele who sought intelligent, complex games emerged.
Now about to celebrate its fifth anniversary and the renewal of its five-year lease, Labyrinth is giving back to the community that originally launched its success.
Labyrinth runs after-school programs with 15 local schools, summer camps for children and free events every night for a variety of gaming communities.
Donahue said hosting events like birthday parties were always part of the plan. But she said she became passionate about community outreach after acting on suggestions from her customers.
“When I started the store I wanted something I could build,” Donahue said. “Money wasn’t really the issue. I really wanted a job where I could bring my son to work and a job where I could give back to the community.”