Come From Away Records is a local, independent, online store that offers a curated selection of vinyl records. Customers can either have albums delivered to their house or arrange to pick records up at locations in St. John’s and Toronto.
The small business is able to offer exceptionally low prices because they ship multiple individual orders to St. John’s or Toronto in a larger box for pickup. This means that unlike with many online retailers the customers who choose to pick records up don’t pay shipping on top of the listed price of the records.
In addition offering very competitive prices, Come From Away Records prides itself on a selection that includes rare records and work by underground artists as well as smash hit albums with wide appeal.
“It is a really exciting time to be buying vinyl. Just this week I posted pre-orders for basically the entire Blink 182 catalogue, Our Lady Peace’s Naveed and Clumsy, albums by Clutch, My Chemical Romance, and Drake. I mean, that’s a pretty diverse group of artists and a great example of there being something for everyone,” Owner, Dan Wolovick says.
Wolovick, who identifies as a Come From Away living in St. John’s, spent most of his adult life working as a music promoter, agent, and festival organizer. His contacts in the music industry regularly hook him up with records by artists who haven’t been lucky enough to sign with a distributor yet. This means that Wolovick is able make those albums available in his store before larger retailers are willing to take a chance on them.
Wolovick says his regular customers appreciate his ability to recognize their tastes and let them know about upcoming releases based on their preferences.
“I guess it’s sort of like the local video store you’d go to, and the person working there knew you’d dig Solar Babies because you enjoy childhood coming-of-age adventure movies. Seriously, look up Solar Babies and thank me later,” Wolovick says about predicting which albums will be a customer’s new favourite.
Come From Away Records also has a special knack for seeking out records from limited runs. Wolovick enjoys the challenge of hunting down a rare record when a customer requests it.
“…just the other day my customer looked up a rare/random jazz record by Ornette Coleman only to find out there was a finite run of 2000 copies pressed in 2014, we took a shot and its on a ferry as we speak.”
Wolovick says that he hopes to have a physical location for Come From Away Records someday but it will depend on the economy and the government’s willingness to support small businesses. In the meantime, he plans to start having pop-up sales in vacant storefronts and at spaces that can be rented short term.
Wolovick also keeps a selection of records in St. John’s that he wouldn’t mind unwrapping and adding to his personal collection if they don’t sell. Customers who arrange to pick up their records from Wolovick have the option of shopping through these records in person.
Come From Away Records is an exciting new business because it gives Newfoundlanders the opportunity to support a local business while buying albums that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to find on the island.