By Jenni Culkin
An entrepreneur from the North Shore is making his hobby into a new career.
Bill Stewart, the owner and sole employee of Filadelfos Toy & Hobby, decided after 20 years as an IT worker that he was looking for a job with more fun, stability and control over his profession.
“I decided to turn my hobby into a business,” Stewart said in an interview.
According to Stewart, “filadelfo” is a modernized form of the Greek “Philadelphia,” which means “brotherly love.”
Since 2010, Stewart has been selling his merchandise through the Internet. In late March of this year, Stewart made the leap to establish a physical shop on 12 Main St. in Kings Park. The shop stands parallel with the local train station, has an exterior decorated with pinwheels and whirligigs and plays 1980s music from inside the storefront.
The store’s interior is about 200-square-feet in size and fits comic book merchandise, model planes and cars, action figures, cards and so much more.
Stewart said he runs the shop simply “for the love of the stuff” that he sells and not to make excessive profit margins or achieve any goals of expansion.
The shop hosts sessions to play games such as the Magic card game and Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. On Saturdays at noon, Filadelfos already hosts a Dungeons & Dragons competition for residents.
If people are also looking for something that is difficult to find, they can ask Stewart whether or not he can find and sell it to them. Stewart sometimes makes purchases directly from the manufacturers.
Stewart is currently waiting for Shopkins, popular new toys that are modeled after food and have faces and online profiles, to stock his store with.
There are also plans to expand if his current shop experiences enough success.
Visit www.frchobby.com to find out more about Stewart’s store.