Deck Factory offers entertainment, community

LIMA — It is a world filled with dragons, magic spells, cunning strategies and epic battles.

And it is all on Elida Road.

Open since 2016, Deck Factory Gaming Center has been a hub for devotees of trading card games like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon. For owner Justin Hertel, Lima is an ideal location for this business, located at 1420 Elida Road, Lima.

“There are a lot of gamers around here,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize it or even know that Magic: The Gathering has a professional tour circuit, and the Lima area, Fort Wayne and Columbus are a major pro circuit belt. A lot of the pros from years ago came from these areas, so it’s really big in the trading card world.”

Not only does Deck Factory fill a need in this niche market, selling everything from card sets to dice to rule books to model figurines and everything in between, but it also serves as a physical hub where devotees gather to share in gameplay. According to Hertel, trading card games in general, and his business in particular, offer a needed outlet for fans who may not otherwise have one.

“A lot of people who kind of shy away from contact come in here,” he said. “This may be their only interaction with society. There are a lot of socially anxious guys. We get a lot of military vets out here that don’t like people. They’ll tell us, ‘I hate everybody but you guys.’ We’re a refuge from the madness that is life. Out there, you’re an adult and have responsibilities. In here, you’re a kid again. You’re free to be yourself and get along with all these other guys. You’re free to be as big a nerd as you want.”

The gaming area in the store can hold more than 60 people, and games can be in person or streamed online.

While Hertel is happy to continue to cater to those customers already immersed in the trading card game world, he is also working to continue to let those outside that community know about what Deck Factory has to offer through social media engagement, particularly Facebook.

“We also get more people trying new things that already come in here,” he said. “People come in to play Warhammer and maybe find a new hobby. And we have tournaments scheduled out for the next three months.


Many businesses and organizations started right here in the Lima region, with the goal of making an impact in the region. This year’s Celebrating Our Spirit looks at those trailblazers. Read more stories at