Local man turns hobby into reality during COVID-19

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JESSUP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — One local man took his passion and lifelong hobby and turned it into a money-making reality.

Bernie Macavage is passionate about model trains, and railroading in general. He is fulfilling his dream of opening his own storefront — selling model trains. But there have been roadblocks along the away, the largest, the coronavirus pandemic.

“I do the opposite of what everybody else is doing. Alot of businesses in general are closing, and I feel opening up a model train store, which is going to specialize in H-O scale trains. I feel like I’m filling a void here,” said Macavage.

Macavage considers himself lucky, his search for a storefront was on a timeline, if he hadn’t found a location before Christmas, it would wait until next year.

“But the luck of the draw was good. I was fortunate enough to find a location, and the timing was right, and everything just kind of came together. So now we are going to go through and open up on Black Friday,” Macavage explained.

It felt like an ideal time for Macavage to open his store. He says with all of the down time the coronavirus has created for some, makes time for families to get into hobbies together.

“With COVID-19, and people being at home, it kind of forces a bit of family time, a lot of people with time on their hands, getting back into hobbies or getting more involved with hobbies that they already have. And model trains are one of those hobbies that with the pandemic we are going through, seems to be on the upswing,” said Macavage.

Macavage explained that what he sells is one-of-a-kind and something that you can’t get online or, in most retailers.

“The one thing that we are going to be able to offer here as opposed to buying something online is, we stand behind what we sell here. Great customer service. And that is going to be our two biggest things here, niches. A big part of my business over here is going to be buying and selling of the model trains,” Macavage said.

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