Sherry Groom is the co-creator and troll collector of the Troll Hole Museum at Alliance.
She and her husband and business partner Jay live a block from the museum. She is originally from the West Country and has 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 kick off 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.”
Groom has over 40,000 items, including keepsakes and duplicate troll dolls. The museum has done TV shows across 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, several bloggers have written about the museum, and it was included in the 60th anniversary packaging of Hasbro’s Special Edition Trolls.
Sherry and Jay love to travel and are planning a trip to Egypt in the future. She has four adult children, two grandchildren and two dogs who she says “are my constant companions, even when visiting the museum”.
Could you share details about the museum, such as what people will see when they arrive, its size, and other interesting details?
Our museum has a gift shop. The Grumpy Troll Cafe in the back serves artisan coffee, teas, smoothies, and Belgian waffles.
The museum is filled with troll dolls and memorabilia, including a great selection of DreamWorks “Trolls” merchandise and souvenirs with brightly colored artistic and garden accents. Our building looks small from the front, but visitors are amazed at the size and number of rooms inside.
What are the visitors’ feedback on the museum and the trolls?
Nearly 100% of our visitors are amazed and amazed by the variety of information, stories and history of trolls and troll dolls they find inside the museum.
Would you like to provide details of your Guinness World Record?
I set the first Guinness record with 2,990 troll dolls in 2012 and the second in 2018 with 8,130. There are two ways to achieve a Guinness record.
You can pay huge fees to them or submit detailed documentation and we chose to do all the documentation ourselves. It was a very long process to photograph each doll and more.
What is your general philosophy regarding the collection?
Follow your passion. To be inspired. Collect things that make you feel good when you look at them.
It’s not about money or numbers, it’s just about doing fun things. Life is meant to be enjoyed.
Your website mentions that you opened the museum in the historic city center to help bring more attention to the area. Why was it important for you to bring more businesses and visitors to the region?
The pinnacle of recycling is saving buildings. Downtown Alliance has the cheapest commercial property in the United States. Through the affordable opportunity, this allowed us to purchase 14 buildings and create a tourist destination that complements the expansion of tourism in Ohio State and Stark County.
I now sit on the board of the Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau. We are passionate about preserving history and craftsmanship from the past. We like to provide fun and original interactive education and art activities for tourists.
We opened the Troll Museum eight years ago, then Wisecracks Comedy Escape room, then Mad Dogs & Crazy Cat Cafe. Then we opened Sticks Stone, Bones and Magic, a metaphysical boutique with a Himalayan salt meditation room and finally the Tuscan garden-themed Jupiter Event Center.
We plan to open another business in 2022 called Thebes Event Center with an Egyptian theme.
Editor’s Note: Five Questions With… is a Sunday feature that features a member of the Stark County community. If you would like to recommend someone to participate, email [email protected]