A comic book shop, a gift boutique and a specialty cake bakery are among the businesses that have either already opened, announced plans to open, or moved from Hammond Street in Bangor in the past two months.
Galactic Comics and Collectibles, a shop offering comic books, toys, figures, cards, gaming supplies and other pop culture collectibles, opened on Nov. 30 at 547 Hammond St., three blocks from the pop cultural mecca of Stephen King’s house.
Owner Paul Eaton, a lifelong fan and collector, began selling comic books and collectibles in 2017, both online and at conventions across New England, as well as at movie premieres at Bangor Mall Cinemas. Eventually, it became clear that the local market for pop culture content was strong enough to support a second dedicated comic shop, in addition to Top Shelf Comics in downtown Bangor.
“I wanted to turn my longtime love of comics into a family business,” said Eaton, a Bangor native. “A spot where local collectors can come, chat about comics and play a game or two.”
In addition to newly released comics, Eaton sells vintage comics, as well as collectibles including Funko Pops and classic action figures, and games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering.
Melinda Frost, owner of another Hammond Street retailer, the Not So Empty Nest, announced last month that in 2020 she would be moving her business from its old location at 624 Hammond St. to a new, larger location at 1209 Broadway, the site of Judson Heights Center, a shopping center that is also home to businesses including Dill’s Outdoors, Cotton Cupboard, Rack City and consignment shops Polish and The Growing Place.
The Not So Empty Nest sells artwork, photography, furniture, jewelry, gifts and books from local artists and writers. Frost first opened her shop in June 2016, and has since expanded her offerings to include regular crafting workshops and book signings. The new location will offer three times as much space for Frost to expand even more. The shop will be closed for a week beginning Jan. 26, and will reopen in its new location on Feb. 3.
The space the store leaves behind will not be empty for long, however. Later this year, specialty cake bakery Cake Mama will move into the location. Owner Libby Kimball has been selling her custom-baked cakes and cupcakes for nearly a decade, and also maintains a popular Instagram account, where she shows off her baked creations.
“I am an avid custom sprinkle collector and love to incorporate these into my designs,” said Kimball, a Bangor native and mother of four who presently operates out of her home kitchen. “I’m always working to learn new skills and I love to come up with new and different designs that you don’t normally see. My signature flavor is snickerdoodle, which is just like the cookie, only in cake form.”
Though an official open date for Cake Mama has not yet been set, Kimball has signed a lease and said she is aiming for an April opening.