About Tasty Records
Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open a record shop?
I'm Ben the owner of Tasty Records, I've been selling records here in Altrincham South Manchester for around 8 years.
In 2012 I had a bit of an epiphany and decided that the corporate life of chasing new car sales figures wasn't for me. So with the help of my sister Emma, who was already running a sweet little comic and pop culture shop in Wrexham, I formulated a plan to open a shop of my own.
I took all of my savings and opened a small shop in Altrincham town centre - we sold comics, trading cards, action figures and vinyl records. This was just before the resurgence of vinyl and it would have been tricky to start a new venture only selling records but when we joined up with Record Store Day, it was evident which way I wanted my business to go.
Eventually, the shop ended up just selling records and we relocated to a new premise in Altrincham. We've now grown into a bit of an animal and my mantra is that we don't want to sell the most records, we want to sell the best records.
My way of life is much better now, and the shop is my baby. It's great being able to get up in the morning and come to work where the first job of the day is taking a record out of the sleeve and putting it on the turntable... absolute bliss.
I love my little shop, there's only two of us here at the moment, myself and @TomTheMod. Tom joined us in July and is a big funk/soul/mod fan who takes control of our website, pre-orders and newsletters.
I also have help from a long-standing customer and friend who has become more involved in the business recently. He has brought with him a great knowledge of some genres that would have passed me by as they're not quite my thing!
Together we all have our different areas of expertise and it shows in the broad but really well-curated sections we have in the shop.
I'm passionate about keeping a mix of second hand and new records to browse, the shop is kept around 50/50. There's something about old vinyl that gives you a spark of excitement and joy that you can't get from a modern repress. But there is so much incredible new music being pressed at the moment, it's a joy to have the best of both worlds.
I always count myself lucky to be in Altrincham although it’s a small town our customers are the coolest and I’ve met some really interesting folk from massive legends to up and comers.
First record I can't remember, but I think it was Queen’s Greatest Hits or something like that. The last record we sold was Harry Becket - Flare Up, a rare slice of cool jazz from 1970. On its way to the USA today.
There have been so many memorable record sales. One of my favourite things is watching people’s expressions when they've been looking for something for ages and they find it in here, or they see a record that sparks a memory and their face lights up. Music brings out the best in people and I love that. It's always particularly satisfying to have something in stock that someone asks for, the rarer it is the more satisfying it is!
I love seeing parents buying kids their first record and making them hand the money over themselves and we give them a stamped loyalty card to take home. It’s a great feeling. It's an important part of your life buying your first record.
The first record shop I went to was probably HMV in Llandudno where I grew up, and Cavern Records up the road from it.
I don't actually remember the first record I bought but my favourite record I’ve bought is my copy of Lost Horizons by Lemon Jelly.
Tough question! It's not in the UK sadly, it’s a small record shop in Lake Annecy in France called Vinyl & Coffee - the nicest French bloke you'll ever meet and some of the best selection of new and used jazz and funk. The next time I go, I'm going to drive and fill the boot.
I want to mention how good Waxwell Records in Amsterdam is and also Lucky Records in Reykjavic. Must visit places for record heads, there's a lot more too but they're the proper stand out ones.
I've met a couple of my heroes through this shop, one of which still comes in regularly and I get to have a good chat with him, when he's not busy doing his show on 6 music.
I remember top to toeing in a hammock listening to some incredible chilled electro DJ's at festival number six with my mate Tom, we were in that hammock for about 8 hours, making friends with passers-by.
Haynes Manual from a 1985 Citroen Visa
Lost Horizons - Lemon Jelly
Robyn - Robyn
Mylo - Destroy Rock and Roll
Miike Snow - Miike Snow
Coldplay - A rush of blood to the head
Pet Shop Boys - Actually
Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love
Boards Of Canada - Music has the right to children
There are millions of other records I could choose, this is the hardest question in the world!