About The Orpington
Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open a record shop?
I’ve always dreamed of opening a record store since childhood, throughout which I would visit my Nan in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire during school holidays. In that small town was a toy shop that had a record counter within the shop. I was mesmerised by the way this was presented and can clearly remember the deep red colour of the counter and the illuminated, backlit sign on the back wall of this small section of what was a tiny store in a very small town. I felt so relieved for this oasis of vinyl heaven during my long summers at my nans. Then when the opportunity presented itself to combine my career experience with restaurant operations to include a record store, I took the leap and set myself up. I’ve modelled my record store as best as I can possibly remember to closely resemble that toy store’s record counter.
The engagement I have with my customers is what keeps me excited and I’ve put my heart into the shop. I can feel the same excitement and enjoyment in my customers that I felt as a child and still do now. It’s about discovering that record you've been searching for - it might have been a year or maybe the anticipation of a brand-new release you've been looking forward to. Providing that opportunity for people to feel the buzz that I get, it's absolutely magic for me.
The reason I chose Orpington to open my record store was largely due to the diverse and eclectic community that merges in this town. It’s a real hub of many different communities - I have customers aged 10 buying classic re-issues from Bruce Springsteen, then a similar aged customer asking for a Stormzy release.
I’ll take requests to source a title and I have the most amazing team to help. George Stephen is our head retail assistant. He’s got great banter with our regular customers. My customers can enjoy a home-cooked meal in our café or relax in the lounge with a beverage. I really enjoy seeing our customers browse the racks with a drink in hand.
Roger Daltrey – As Long As I Have You was the very first record we sold on Thursday 22 November 2018.
Kylie Minogue – Step Back In Time was the last vinyl we sold yesterday. Clearly her performance at Glastonbury this year hasn’t done her any harm at all.
My very first record was Whitney by Whitney Houston. The fascination with music on vinyl format started from the age of eight. I was given a Record Token for my birthday, so my mum took me to Woolworths in Paignton whilst we were on holiday. I had no idea what I was meant to do with the token. My mum advised me to buy Whitney. A good girl, clean pop image I think was the driving reason for this. It had just been released in the summer of 1987. That kicked started my love for strong female vocals and, all things Whitney!
Cliffs in Margate – A great community space has been created here, they’ve done wonders for the town and should be really proud of their work. The team are amazing.
Not fully believing the hype (and friendly warnings) about how busy we’d be for our first Record Store Day. Wow, everyone wasn’t exaggerating!
Tina Turner – Wembley Stadium 1997 – Wildest Dreams tour
Roald Dahl – The Witches
Whitney’s full catalogue of course
Kelis – Grace Jones – Basement Jaxx – Pet Shop Boys
My Love Is Your Love – Whitney Houston