Sherry Groom is the co-creator and troll collector of the Troll Hole Museum in Alliance.
She and her husband and business partner Jay live one block from the museum. She is originally from the western part of the country and lived in Arizona, Utah and Colorado.
While the museum opened eight years ago, Sherry and Jay moved to Alliance three years ago from Cuyahoga Falls.
“We opened the museum as a tourist attraction to launch a revitalization of historic East Main Street in downtown Alliance,” she said. “I collect trolls because they represent legendary mythical magical creatures. Trolls possess magical powers and are earth elements here to protect the earth and help humans.”
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Groom has more than 40,000 items, including memorabilia and duplicate troll dolls. The museum has made television shows around the country, including “One Tank Trip” on Channel 3, evening news shows, Good Morning London, New Day Cleveland and National Public Radio.
In addition to television and radio, multiple bloggers have written about the museum, and it was included on the package for Hasbro’s Special Edition Trolls 60th anniversary.
Sherry and Jay love to travel and are planning a trip to Egypt in the future. She has four grown children, two grandchildren and two dogs that she said “are my constant companions even on the tours of the museum.”
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Would you share details about the museum such as what people will see when they come in, how big it is and other interesting details?
Our museum has a gift shop. The Grumpy Troll Cafe in the back serves hand-crafted coffee, teas, smoothies and Belgian Waffles.
The museum is filled with troll dolls and memorabilia, including a big selection of DreamWorks “Trolls” merchandise and souvenirs with bright colorful artsy and garden accents. Our building looks small from the front, but visitors are amazed at how large and how many rooms are inside.
What is the feedback you get from visitors about the museum and the trolls?
Almost 100% of our guests are amazed and blown away by how much diverse information, stories and history of trolls and troll dolls they find inside the museum.
Would you provide details about your Guinness World Record?
I set the first Guinness record with 2,990 trolls dolls in 2012 and the second in 2018 with 8,130. There are two ways to achieve a Guinness record.
You can pay them huge fees or submit extensive documentation and we chose to do all the documentation ourselves. It was a very lengthy process to photograph each doll and more.
What is your general philosophy about collecting?
Follow your passion. Be inspired. Collect things that make you feel good when you look at them.
It’s not about the money or numbers but just doing things that are fun. Life is meant to be enjoyed.
Your website mentions that you opened the museum in the historic downtown to help bring more attention to the area. Why was it important to you to bring more commerce and visitors to the area?
The ultimate in recycling is to save buildings. Downtown Alliance has the cheapest commercial property in the US So because of the affordable opportunity, it allowed us to purchase 14 buildings and create a tourist destination which complements the expansion of tourism in the state of Ohio and Stark County.
I am now on the board of directors for the Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau. We are passionate about preserving history and the workmanship of the past. We love providing fun, quirky interactive education and artsy activities for tourists.
We opened the Troll Museum eight years ago, then Wisecracks Comedy Escape room, then Mad Dogs & Crazy Cat Cafe. Next, we opened Sticks Stone, Bones and Magic, a metaphysical shop with a Himalayan salt meditation room and lastly the Jupiter Event Center with a Tuscan Garden theme.
We are planning to open another business in 2022 called the Thebes Event Center with an Egyptian theme.
Editor’s note: Five questions with … is a Sunday feature that showcases a member of the Stark County community. If you’d like to recommend someone to participate, send an email to [email protected]