Brandon Toyzan, Midland Modern Explorers Guild

Brandon Toyzan, 39, is one of the owners of Modern Explorers Guild, located next to LaLonde Market on the corner of Jefferson and Sugnet in Midland. Its co-owners are Chad McConnell, Dru Sepulveda and Travis Vajcner.

They provide weekly comic book services and an extensive catalog of board games and play space to play tabletop games. They focus on analog games and sell online through various platforms. Two employees work with the four owners.

Toyzan is also a technical architect at Dow. He has been working there for almost 15 years. He leads the mobility team. Toyzan said, “We put phones in the hands of everyone around the world. »

Toyzan and his wife, Alisha, have been married for 15 years. They have a 6 year old daughter, Freyja. They live in Midland.

Toyzan graduated from Hemlock High School. He earned two bachelor’s degrees from Saginaw Valley State University in computer science and business management.

How long have you owned your business?

“Barely a year and a half.

What prompted you to own this business?

“It’s a passion project. We think it’s a business Midland needs and something Midland can support. We’re passionate about analog gaming and just want to bring the community together.”

What makes Midland a great place to own a business?

“One of the great things is that the community is really supportive of small business. There are a number of people willing to spend $5 more (locally) than buying it online. They’ll hop in the car to interact with someone.”

In what ways is your business active in the local community?

“What we try to focus our energy on are nonprofits that focus on children. We really believe in child-focused organizations. If I can teach a kid a board game and make them learning outside the box… We’ve supported the CAN Council and Shelterhouse.”

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

“I love playing with computers and technology. This is in addition to our online presence. I am an active runner. I like doing outdoor activities. Going out with the family, sitting around a table with a board game.

What local businesses do you work with that contribute to the success of your business?

“Steve LaLonde is our owner. They’ve been great with us. I appreciate their support to keep us going.”

Final thoughts to share with the community?

“We really appreciate the community support we’ve gotten so far. People who have come to visit the store and have given us feedback. We want people to come to the store. We want people to think about the how they can include board games in their weekly routine. I look forward to bringing board games to the community for organizations and businesses. Host game nights in restaurants, because this kind of thing becomes possible.

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