"Some people hear 'Magic' and they think of magic tricks."
But that's not the focus of Marble Avenue's newest business—, which has been open for about one month in the Camilli Building, adjacent to in Pleasantville.
Helene Griffin, a Mount Kisco resident, is quick to share her son's new store isn't about tricks, but about giving a space for fans of Magic: The Gathering, to compete and play with each other.
"It's a competitive strategy game," explains Corey Griffin, 27, who has been playing Magic since age 11. "You use creatures, spells, different abilities, different colors, different creature types. There are an uncountable amount of strategies."
Corey Griffin, a Brewster resident, said he decided to open his open store after he had a tough time breaking into the personal training industry—the field he pursued in college.
"I was going through this run of bad jobs, nothing had really been working out great," he reflected.
When his father, Tom Griffin, suggested he make a career out of Magic, his biggest passion, he decided to give it a go.
Tom and Helene, both retired, brought a business eye to the venture.
"Everything just came to life," said Corey. "Everything just steamrolled really quickly."
Corey said he was attracted to the game of Magic as a kid because "it was different than all the board games I had played in my life. It was real, continuing, growing and changing."
He said while other Magic players in the greater New York area often connect through Facebook, it is tough to find a good space to compete and play socially.
"I didn't really have a place to go as a kid," he said. "Sometimes you go to these places and no one is helpful—they are dirty and poorly run."
At Odyssey, "I pride myself in that this place is clean and well-organized and everyone here will do the best they can to help," he added.
And local youths have taken notice.
"We have attracted a very loyal group of young boys—and some girls—that come in almost every day after school," said Helene. "It's a really nice, safe, friendly environment for them to come and have fun and have an activity. It's nicer than being in front of your computer all day playing a video game."
And Tom said he hopes to attract students from and Westchester Community College, as well as from all around Westchester County.
"We aren't going to limit ourselves to just Magic," he added. "It's sort of the driver that got us going...but there are also other games—board games, things like Dungeons & Dragons."
The shop sells board games, as well as allows players to trade-in their Magic cards. There is also a steady tournament and game schedule during the Tuesday through Sunday hours.
"While we do charge for events, when we are not running anything, everyone is welcome to come in and play as long as the space is available," Corey shared. "I actually recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a place to go and really wants to try and come in and just play and have a good time in comfortable surroundings."
Through Odyssey, Corey has also developed a new passion—teaching kids how to play Magic.
"I really do like teaching every new kid that comes in," he said.
Corey hopes to continue growing the use of the space, which is outfitted with a retail desk, shelves of games and several long tables for friendly gaming.
"I guess I want to see how much we can do in this one spot," he said. "It's slowly getting there."
Click to learn more about Odyssey Game & Tournament Center.