Speaking Startup: A pandemic, a Netflix hit and a chess boom

For chess shops across Missouri, merchandise has been moving off the shelves faster than pieces off the board in a game of speed chess.

The Saint Louis Chess Club has reported a 200% increase in sales at its Q Boutique Gift Shop following the release of “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix. The Kansas City Chess Club has experienced similar growth, with sales of chess accessories increasing 300% to 400% recently, according to the club’s executive director.

Between interest stimulated by the hit Netflix show and an uptick in participation driven by people taking up new pandemic hobbies, chess is experiencing a popularity boom. The latest Speaking Startup podcast checks in on some of the Missouri businesses benefitting from that heightened interest.

Plus, as businesses in Missouri’s medical marijuana industry have begun operating in recent weeks, we look into another part of the nascent industry — home growers, who are opting to grow their own cannabis.


The Speaking Startup podcast explores news and issues important to Missouri entrepreneurs. Find more Speaking Startup on our website or wherever you get podcasts.


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