“I grew up in Buffalo listening to movie soundtracks and as I entered my teens I got into different genres that I still dig to this day. I remember riding my bike to the record store and buying vinyls and 12 inches all the time.
In my early twenties, music was a big part of my life. My friends and I were music lovers and concertgoers. I happened to be in Europe in 1989 during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peace rallies in Prague. I was flat broke and had to move back home with my parents who were here in Baltimore.
After several years, I realized there wasn’t a record store in town that I liked so I opened one. I wanted a complete store that sold all genres of music where customers could hang out and browse for hours if they wanted. A nice atmosphere with lots of great records was my goal."
"Of course the rise of digital and streaming artists is almost like a constant fight for a record store owner. It’s been a tough industry due to all the changes, but I know how to get great inventory. I keep my edge by constantly staying on top of things culturally. An example is the pandemic. We have lots of new customers who are listening to more music because they’re home. Record players are selling out, not at the rate of bicycles, but at a much faster rate than before. I pay attention to my customers and buy what I believe they’ll enjoy and purchase. After all these years, I’ve come to learn my strengths and weaknesses. I’ve always trusted my instincts when it comes to business. I strive for excellence and I never cut corners."
"There’s a lot of freedom in having my own business. I get to express myself artistically and creatively just by purchasing the inventory and designing the space. I love seeing a ton of people who enjoy music and really have a passion for it come in and shop. Our customers are diverse. We have 75 year-old jazz guys here every day. Then we have people like my 22 year-old daughter’s age who are discovering new music.
So many different types of people come here and dig through the record crates. It’s this kind of marriage of everybody in Baltimore, in one place, which to me is pretty cool.”