To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Dusty Groove will host an outdoor block party on Saturday, July 16, 2016. The event will be at 1120 N Ashland Ave, from noon to 5pm, free of charge, and will feature music, DJ sets, food, and giveaways. “A party lets us show our appreciation after so many years of enthusiastic customer support,” says owner Rick Wojcik.
Dusty Groove started as an e-commerce music retailer in the spring of 1996. With no storefront at the time, Wojcik and co-founder JP Schauer, two DJs who worked at the University Of Chicago’s WHPK radio station, ran the business out of a small studio apartment as a hobby.
As the website took off, the operation was relocated to a ground floor apartment behind a fruit market in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood with an alley-facing entrance. The unit had been abruptly vacated by a neighborhood call girl, so the landlord offered a very favorable rate. However, lack of street access and other amenities made the location less than ideal for starting a high-end mail order vinyl record business.
Online-only vinyl record sales kept growing, and the office was opened once a month to local Chicago customers. Demand for a retail store led Dusty Groove to move into a loft space in the Wicker Park neighborhood in 1997 and open its doors to the general public on weekends. In 2001, Dusty Groove purchased the building at its present location of 1120 N Ashland Ave so that it could remain open seven days a week.
Despite challenges in the music business, Wojcik attributes Dusty Groove‘s ability to grow and expand over the years to its diverse array of customers. “We never would have made it so far without their support,” says Wojcik. “They continue to teach us more about music than we ever would have learned on our own.” Dusty Groove attracts visitors from distant locations such as London, Berlin, Tokyo, and Sydney, who exhibit a diversity of age, ethnicity, and musical taste. “Customers certainly keep us on our toes, and thanks to the constant connection we have via the internet and the store, we’re always fine-tuning our operation in an effort to serve them better,” Wojcik notes.
“We have had top-notch staff and employees over the years,” adds Wojcik. “In the 20 years we’ve been around, it’s been an honor to work with some of the folks who’ve helped make the company great. In addition to wonderful people who continue to work here, we’ve also had employees go on to become poets, professors, painters, policemen, rock stars, and a number of other professions.”
Online customers who may not be able to attend the block party are also invited celebrate at https://www.dustygroove.com, where the store will be giving away $20 gift certificates to the 20th online customer every day, for the 20 days leading up to the 20th anniversary party. Additionally, Dusty Groove is offering a range of limited-run items: T-shirts, bags, DJ equipment, toys, and novelties (including a whoopee cushion).
– See more at: http://www.datsyn.com/press-release/12004/2016/05/03/Landmark-Chicago-Record-Store-Celebrates-20th-Anniversary#sthash.4jUeUCuu.dpuf