WALLINGFORD — Two longtime trading card and sports memorabilia collectors have opened their own hobby shop on Quinnipiac Street.
Front Row opened on July 9 at 80 Quinnipiac St. Front Row is the second hobby shop to open in downtown Wallingford in less than a year. Last summer, M&J Video Games & Collectibles opened at 38 Center St.
Before opening the shop, co-owners and town natives William Senna III and David Giglio sold cards online, with most of their business on eBay.
“It was getting a little crazy ... so we thought about opening up a shop,” Giglio said.
“It’s always been our dream, too ... we said ‘why not, let’s do it,’ ” Senna added.
Senna and Giglio acquire cards and memorabilia from dealers on eBay and on Facebook. Cards on display Thursday included a Bobby Hull autographed jersey card and a Babe Ruth bat card. Memorabilia for sale included a Cal Ripken Jr. autographed jersey, a Hank Aaron autographed bat and a handcrafted Roberto Clemente giant bobblehead.
“All of our autographs, we make sure they have legitimate COAs (certificates of authenticity),” Giglio said. “We don’t just buy questionable stuff.”
Everything in the store is also listed on eBay under the username “frontrowsports47.” Senna and Giglio also plan to establish a website for the store.
Senna and Giglio acknowledged that collecting sports memorabilia has become more expensive in recent years, and hope to keep prices affordable. They also intend to organize professional athlete appearances and signings at the shop.
Giglio said the store is open to taking customer requests for a specific product. “We can pretty much get anything for anyone,” he said.
He also hopes to create a market for collectors.
“Right now we’re focused on buying stuff we think would sell in the store,” Giglio said. “We really want to get a clientele coming in.”