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East Anglia Future 50

The modern world can be a Scrabble, so why not relax with a board game?

PUBLISHED: 07:30 08 March 2019

The team at Dice And A Slice, the Colchester board game cafe. Owners Daren Hutton and Jessica Caws, assistant manager Aimee Smith and manager Annabel Hutton
Picture: LEAH COOPER

The team at Dice And A Slice, the Colchester board game cafe. Owners Daren Hutton and Jessica Caws, assistant manager Aimee Smith and manager Annabel Hutton Picture: LEAH COOPER

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Launching amy new business is taking a Risk. Colchester's Hutton family doesn't have a Monopoly on good ideas.

Board Games Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDBoard Games Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Last year they launched their board game cafe, in Queen Street, Colchester and it has proved to be no Trivial Pursuit.

Every new business is a Risk, of course, and there is always a worry about whether it will bring a Payday.

But Daren Hutton says, their cafe has really taken off - tapping into a new interest in face-to-face competition, and socialising, rather than simply playing games on tablets and phones with strangers.

There are board game cafes springing up around the country.

Dice And A Slice, the board game cafe in Colchester
Picture: DICE AND A SLICEDice And A Slice, the board game cafe in Colchester Picture: DICE AND A SLICE

For the Hutton’s it was a chance to turn their hobby into the business, with Dice And A Slice.

Mr Hutton said: “My daughter Annabel runs it during the week, and myself and my wife Jessica help at the weekend.

“I suppose from 9 to 5 it is a normal cafe and at weekends and evenings it is board gaming. It is very busy.

“It has been a very good start for us. It has been 125% more than we expected in the first year. It has been a big success really.

“It is not social media people, staring up their phones, but coming to meet and discuss and game nights.

“It gets people away from the TV. People are looking to enjoy the social reaction.

“It tends to be people I would consider to be social media friendly.

“Many are from 16 to the late 20s and it is a social occasion for them, getting together with their friends.

“We get tables booked for eight players and more.”

“I suppose it is a step back to the past.”

Cluedo ought to be a popular game at the cafe. It is in the main part of what was the town’s police station, dating back to the 1700s.

He added: “I had about 300 games at home before we decided to do it.

“It has really taken off.

“Now we have more than 400 games.”

More main stream games, like Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly and the like had their players, he said.

Other people like fantasy and role-playing board games.

“The range is enormous, from growing grapes and making wine to world domination,” he said.

And with new board games being invented, in their hundreds, every year, what next?

How about a board game about running a Board Game cafe?

It could be called Dice And A Slice.

Most popular games at Dice And A Slice

Settlers of Catan

Mansions of Madness

Exit the Game

Ticket to Ride

Colt Express

Mysterium

Cards Against Humanity

Pandemic

Children’s games that are popular are:

Outfoxed

Polar Panic

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