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HobbyTown marks 10 years in W. Knox

HobbyTown USA is celebrating 10 years in West Knox County, including three in Turkey Creek.

“We try to be family-centric, meaning we try to have things for all family members, young and old,” said Gary Phillips, co-owner of the store with wife, Angela.

Besides the usual hobby paraphernalia, including models, trains and remote controlled objects, the store also carries games and toys.

“We try to think of the whole family. We think we’re very family friendly. Traditional hobby stores can be a little intimidating,” Gary said.

“We’re not your traditional hobby store: we’re kind of a blend of hobbies and toys,” he added.

Gary said the store’s customer base extends from children ages 4 and 5 to senior adults. Farragut residents make up a large portion of that base, he added.

To meet customers’ needs, Gary and Angela staff employees whose interests lie in different areas.

“Virtually all of our employees are passionate about something here, and that’s by intent,” Gary said.

“We want people who understand their hobby, and that are passionate about it and want to see other people get into the hobby,” he added.

Gary said his own interest lay in trains. Angela is a crafter, he said.

“It’s always been a family business,” Gary said, adding the couple’s four children, extended family and friends had all worked at the store.

“We want to make it a real friendly place,” he added.

Gary said the store was hoping to expand its community outreach events, including seminars, workshops and game nights.

“We like to think of ourselves as the alternative to computers and video games. So kids can do hands-on, building things and bonding with their parents,” Gary said.

“We’re where hobbies get started,” he added.

HobbyTown USA is a national franchise, with more than 170 locations.

“Every HobbyTown store is unique, and it’s unique to the owner: what the owners want it to be basically,” Gary said.

For example, the Turkey Creek store has an overhead model train running above the front of the store. Gary said he was working on another in the store window.

HobbyTown USA is open for normal hours between 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m., Sundays.

For more information, call the store, 11364 Parkside Drive beside HHGregg, at 865-675-1975 or visit


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