So I'm pretty excited my column Geek Fringe is coming back for the Do Savannah. It's been a minute since the last time I got to write about some cool geeky stuff I like for my column.


For those of you who remember back in the day (wow, has it been 5 years already?) I like talking with creators, love nerd stuff, and I'm a geek about comics, Transformers, tech, and writing.


One of the cool people I have met is Danon McConnell. She is a cosplayer, a baker, and an all-around swell person. I recently found out she and her business partners acquired 8-Bit Donuts. One of her specialties are macarons, which are difficult to bake, let alone master.


Now, she and her crew have taken over 8-Bit Donuts and are offering the public Version 2.0 with a tasty variety of baked goods.


DO: A lot has happened this year. You are expanding your business. Please talk about that.


McConnell: "It does seem like an odd time to expand, but we have such wonderful supporters here and do a lot of the work ourselves. We try to be smart with our spending and put a lot back into the business.


"The opportunity to acquire 8-Bit and Jolly Goblin was too good to pass up because there’s an established community of card and tabletop gamers who frequent here, it can only get better if we combine our communities to afford more games and a place to play them!"


DO: What has been some great growth learning this year for business?


McConnell: "I touched on this a bit above, but being able to get people excited about the games we sell at Nerdheim by telling them we actually will have somewhere to play them and a community to help those new to tabletop gaming. Most miniatures games require a pretty large playing area so we’re working on custom tables and will host events to come learn games during the week.


"Getting that whole snowball going is what’s gonna push us through this rough time. I think one of the most important things about us is that we want our customers to be satisfied. We don’t want to be exclusive or just throw some tables in a dingy back room, we want the environment to be comfortable and welcoming for veteran players and newcomers alike."


DO: How did you get into baking? How did you learn to make macarons? What do you love about it?


McConnell: "I have been baking almost my whole life. My parents made just about everything from scratch so a lot of my know-how stems from that. I learned macarons about four years ago and it’s so much trial and error, finding the ingredient brands that work best, knowing the oven being used to a T, and finding the proper timing for everything.


"I joke that you have to know the star sign of the almonds you use because they can be so finicky sometimes. I like the creative aspect of baking, but also how it’s quite scientific and measured, and of course seeing customers happy with their baked goods is a great plus."


DO: What sort of stuff is planned for the future?


McConnell: "We plan to add more to the menu to include food other than sweets, we’re working on the miniature tables as mentioned, and we’ll be working on the interior to give it a cozy and welcoming vibe you’d want to hang out in even if games aren’t the draw. We’ll be hosting demo nights to learn new games, we’ll have tournaments, and whatever else our customers want to see!"


DO: How are you handling the holidays with fewer people expected?


McConnell: "Honestly more people have been shopping out anyway, I’ve seen a lot more masks now than earlier this year. Thankfully it’s assumed rather than asked most of the time now. There have been a lot of ads and posts going around to go support local shops instead of shopping online for the holidays. We’re expecting to do alright and will probably have some holiday shopping promotions going on."


DO: Can you talk about a time of inspiration along your journey to owning your own store?


McConnell: "So much of it stemmed from just being a collector of geeky stuff. We thought if we were as crazy about this stuff, others must be too, so selling it would be a breeze! And it’s stuff we like, so orders are fun even if the stuff isn’t technically for us. We love seeing people get excited about seeing merchandise from their fandoms like we do.


"We tried doing booths at conventions, some went well and some were disastrous, and really a lot more work than they’re worth. So why not have a year-round shop."


DO: Anything else you want to add?


McConnell: "We’re extremely grateful to the community for their continued support. Their enthusiasm is what keeps us going because as any small business owner knows, it’s not a walk in the park to run one, let alone three shops. They make it worth all the work! Thank you all so much!"


Adam Messer is a local author and writer. You can also hear him on the airwaves at WRUU 107.5.