Business Spotlight: Masterminds


Bree Gannon & Zach Read

For our first business spotlight, we chose to go to Masterminds. Masterminds is located at 33 W Main Street, about a 10-12 minute walk from campus. Masterminds’ has two escape rooms and a game library with over 300 board and card games. We both have never been and decided it was time to check out what they have to offer!

First Impression:
Bree: It was not what I was expecting at all. I’m not sure what I was expecting but the room was huge and had a vibrant orange color that was sprinkled through the room. The game wall was off to the left-hand side of the room and almost lined the entire wall. I definitely said, “wow this is amazing” when I first walked in.
Zach: As I walked through the door, it was a small but big enough chill space with a good number of tables and chairs. I could not help but notice the wall off to the right with 300+ different games and I was extremely impressed.

Bree: The atmosphere had a really chill and inviting vibe to it. It is a unique place and the atmosphere it gives fits the uniqueness of the place.
Zach: Masterminds has a really unique feel to it and you can tell that the owner, Benjamin Garrett worked hard at creating the best atmosphere possible. Do not know where to begin? The friendly staff is there to walk you through any game and can make it feel like you are right at home playing games with your family at the kitchen table.

Employee Interactions:
Bree: The employees were really nice and asked us if it was our first time there or not. Since it was, they explained how everything works and the different types of games that they have. The owner, Ben, was extremely helpful in helping us pick out a game and teaching us how to play it. He helped us set it up and answered any questions we had while playing as well.
Zach: When you enter a game room, the expectation is to grab a game off of the wall and start playing it. However, there are so many intriguing games that you probably have never heard of that you may want to try. That is where the employees come in, where each of them are knowledgeable about a wide range of games and can explain the instructions for each game specifically. How are they so knowledgeable? During their downtime, the employees will play the games themselves, especially the new additions so that they become experts at them after a while. I was extremely impressed with this because it provides the customers with an opportunity to play new games.

Bree: The game library itself is so extensive that you could be there for hours playing different games. A majority of their collection, I have never even heard of so you could definitely spend all night playing new games. We didn’t get to do an escape room but we got to tour one and that is something I would love to do in the near future. But the range of activities they have will keep you busy for hours on end and for only $5 the games are a great way to go!
Zach: Although we did not go into one of the escape rooms, we definitely want to go back and try one. Personally, I have never been in an escape room before and they seem challenging but a fun way to make quality memories. If you went to Masterminds, you can spend hours there because of the endless number of games in which 75 percent of you have probably never heard of before. This allows you the opportunity to expand your horizon to try new things and learn and play unique games.

Bree Gannon
From left to right: Lewis Markham, Zach Read and Elizabeth Grim playing “Fireball Island” at Masterminds

Bree: The snack bar was just added recently and has a lot more options than I thought they would have. Zach ordered the pretzels and they were the perfect salty snack to have while playing our board game “Fireball Island.”
Zach: Board games are not as exciting if food is not involved. As of about two months ago, Masterminds just included food into their options and it was a great decision that was made. With the chill atmosphere and board games fun for the family, the food options include food that you would find at home and a concession stand: shelled peanuts, pretzels, candy, nachos and more. They also have meal options such as pizza and wraps. With all the salty snacks, Masterminds has a wide variety of drink options from the bottle to contribute to the atmosphere. Masterminds does not serve alcohol which really makes it an atmosphere that is fun for the whole family.

Overall Experience:
Bree: 10/10 would go back again! It fits every college student’s budget and lets you experience something new every time. I would recommend this to every person that is looking for something fun and casual to do. A lot of people say that there isn’t much to do in Ashland but don’t say that until you have experienced Masterminds. I can’t wait to go back and try all the activities that are offered.
Zach: I would definitely go back to Masterminds. It is a place that any type of person can enjoy where maximum fun is guaranteed. It is cheap, affordable fun for college students or your family, that each time you go you can explore a new game that you have never played before. If you are looking to fill up a Saturday afternoon, visit Masterminds and spend some time in an escape room where you will be challenged but will also have a blast. For college students, college night at Masterminds is every third Tuesday of the month with escape rooms only being $15!

We decided that in order to get the full experience, we would bring along some of our friends to also get a feel for the place as well. We took along with us Elizabeth Grim and Lewis Markham and got their opinion on their experience at Masterminds.

Elizabeth: My experience at Masterminds was phenomenal! To start off, the customer service was amazing! The owner helped us pick out a game and sat beside us to explain a very complex set of rules to get us started. He was also very willing to answer any questions that came up while we played the game. The game was really unique and unlike anything I’ve played. It’s a fun place to test out games that you might never buy for yourself. There were over 100 games with a majority that I had never seen before. The next time I go, I’d be interested in trying out new games and testing out an Escape Room. I would highly recommend going to Masterminds!

Lewis: On Jan. 24, I went to a small entertainment shop in the town of Ashland Ohio called Masterminds. This place is unique that includes a large variety of board games and two escape rooms. In addition, they have food and drink items at a relatively low cost. The customer service was wonderful as the head manager helped my friends and I learn an interesting board game that we have never played. The atmosphere was welcoming and was a great way to spend a few hours of the day. I would love to go back and try out the escape rooms in the near future. Overall this was a great experience and I would definitely do it again.