A new soccer store has opened in Princeton, offering players, parents and coaches an alternative to shopping online.
Princeton Soccer Experience at 290 Witherspoon Street has a wide selection of items- from cleats, jerseys, and warm ups to soccer balls, equipment, pre wrap, shin wraps and ball pumps.
The owner is Tibor Teleky, a Franklin Park resident and longtime soccer coach.
Teleky has played soccer since he was a child and has coached in Central New Jersey for about 19 years. He now coaches Princeton Football Club's Bayern (U-10) and Aston Villa (U-15) teams.
Tibor decided to open the store because he said it's hard to find soccer gear and equipment locally. Even the larger sporting good stores typically only have a small selection of soccer items, he said.
"There's not a really good quality place to go," he said, noting that people often buy soccer items online.
Already, people are taking notice of the Princeton Soccer Experience.
"I keep the doors locked while I’m working because so many people are knocking on the door," he said, describing the last month that he's spent setting up the store prior to opening on Saturday.
As of Friday afternoon, he was still waiting for Comcast to come and set up service at the store, and until then he's relying on his iPhone to accept credit card purchases.
The store is located in the John Witherspoon neighborhood, exactly where Teleky wanted to be.
"It's a great mix here," he said. "You've got the Latin community and there are almost 30 traveling teams here between Princeton Soccer Academy and Princeton Football Club."
He hopes the store will become more than just a place that sells soccer items.
"I’m aiming for a club feel," Teleky said. "I want everyone from the soccer community to feel at home here. I have a small office space set up downstairs which I’m hoping to make available to local soccer groups if they want to run any kind of meetings out of there. They're welcome to use it for free."
With competitive retail prices, Teleky hopes there will enough demand to support a second location in Philadelphia, one which may be opened and run by a close friend. They are currently scouting for a location in the city.
For now, Teleky is the only one working at the Princeton store, but he hopes to hire one or two part-time employees as the business gets off the ground. And if business goes well, he has hopes to franchise the business beyond a Philadelphia location.