Never miss a beat! Sign up for the Flint Beat newsletter.
Flint, MI— At the end of October, downtown record store Jack’s Record Stache will be moving to a new location—but not very far away.
“We’re just going next door,” said owner Jerry Crago.
Jack’s will be relocating to a larger space about 20 feet west of the current storefront of Healthy Dollar.
“I don’t have to worry about losing my customer base by moving there,” he said. “I mean, at least I hope no one says ‘I can’t find your shop!’”
The added space is really Crago’s reason for the move, he said. Jack’s Record Stache is currently under 300 square feet. Crago said he hopes the nearby, larger location will allow him to begin offering vintage clothing and showcase even more vinyl without upsetting regulars.
Crago has made use of every square inch. Wooden custom-built drawers of records slide under tabletops full of yet more vinyl, an area near the front door highlights newer inventory, and music memorabilia coats the space’s beige walls from shelves to ceiling. But he said there just isn’t enough room to give people a good look at his inventory of over 150,000 records.
“I have three storage units that are still full of records,” Crago said.
He pointed to the corner by his front door, where a white cardboard box was taking up just over a square foot of precious real estate.
“To give you an idea: that white box is just under 100 records, maybe. So 150,000 means 1,500 plus of those boxes.”
Looking down the surrounding narrow aisles, it’s safe to say “1,500 of those boxes” would likely not fit in the store at all.
Or if they did fit, there wouldn’t be room for the store’s customers, register, obligatory record player or two, and the 13-inch Toshiba combination television on which Crago watches VHS tapes of “Office Space” and “Less Than Zero” while he’s pricing records.
Crago opened Jack’s Record Stache with his friend Brandon Trammell in 2019, a couple of years after their mutual friend’s father (the eponymous Jack) passed away and left behind a collection of thousands of records.
The early days of setting up the store remain a warm memory for Crago.
Their friend had called to ask for help sorting through the massive record collection at his father’s home.
“There was no way to be prepared for what I saw when we opened the door to the house,” Crago said of the first time he went over.
“There were records everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere… On the kitchen table, the couch. We couldn’t sit down! There were records covering all of the furniture.”
Eventually, Crago and Trammell decided they would open a store to help sell some of those records they had spent more than a year organizing.
Both Crago and Trammell were born in Flint, and after speaking with the owner of one of their favorite music venues, Local 432, the pair agreed to lease what was then the venue’s storage area.
They built storage solutions on tabletops, loaded in their first set of records, placed orders, and popped a sign on the glass door. And just like that, Jack’s Record Stache opened in fall 2019.
Then COVID-19 hit.
Crago said Jack’s was fortunate.
His landlord was generous—halting rent payments and letting him expand onto the first floor of Local 432 for added social distancing space.
He said he noticed how much better sales had been when people could spread out into the adjacent music venue while they browsed, so one of his first moves as sole owner became “find a bigger space.”
Trammell ultimately decided to pursue a new job over the course of COVID, making Crago the sole owner of Jack’s.
Fortunately, he said, circumstances aligned between his store’s expansion and the Healthy Dollar’s closing.
Crago said he hopes to welcome music lovers to Jack’s Record Stache’s new location—132 W. First St.—by early November.