FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Josh Wright has been a truck driver and a shift supervisor at Starbuck’s and is also trained as a registered nurse.
So it might come as a surprise that he’s just opened — a record store?
Welcome to Vinyl Street Café, a casual listening lounge tucked away in a shopping center on the Post Road in Fairfield, where young and old are digging the snap, crackle, pop of vintage vinyl.
Originally from Utah, Wright started his record-selling business online about two years ago.
“I’ve had an interesting life,” said the Fairfield resident. “This started with me clearing out a guy’s basement and he had a lot of records.”
Sales were brisk enough that he thought he could open a retail space.
“And I didn’t want to drive trucks anymore,” said the Trumbull High grad with a laugh.
Vinyl Street Café includes the traditional bins of new and used records, as well as two high-tech turntables to listen to records before purchase.
In addition, customers can pursue CDs, cassettes and DVDs and even test and buy record players.
While Wright had originally hoped to have a small coffeehouse in the shop, it’s zoned only for retail so he can’t actually serve coffee. However, he can sell packaged coffee and he may offer complimentary cups to customers.
The selection at Vinyl Street will be eclectic. Wright favors soul and R&B, but he’ll also carry indie, jazz and plenty of other genres.
Wright credited encouragement from his family -- wife Marisa and children, Calvin, 16, Thomas, 15, and Maddie, 12 -- for making the venture a reality.
"I couldn't have done this without the support from my family," he said.
While some might think records are a thing of the past, the number of teens in the shop would prove otherwise
“There’s a deep reverence for me of digging through the bins and rediscovering something that’s been lost,” said 16-year-old Zack Boccarossa of Fairfield. “There’s also a lot you won’t find on digital.”
His friend, James Lott, 15, also of Fairfield, said he prefers the sometimes crackly pauses between songs to the perfection of CDs and MP3s.
“It sounds better,” he said. “There’s a warm feedback.’
First Selectman Mike Tetreau, who attended the store’s recent ribbon cutting, said his own record collection didn’t survive the many moves he has made in life.
“This is great,” he said. “This is kind of like literally going back in time.”
Vinyl Street Café is located at 1895 Post Road Suite C. The shop’s website is under construction. For more information, contact Wright at vinylstreetcafe@gmail,com or 203-292-5785.
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