The Applestump Records story is one born out of lockdown boredom. As record collectors ourselves, most weekends would be spent visiting different locations in the UK, or indeed Europe, seeking out the local record shop(s), sampling the local beer(s) and spending all our money on vinyl. When lockdown came and this was no longer possible we thought "why don't we try and bring the record shop to us?"
So we did. We bought around 100 records from a distributor, opened some social media accounts and built this very website. Before long we were offering mail order, click and collect (socially distanced of course) from our house or free delivery to the local area. Suddenly we had a record business, but still no sign of the 'shop' bit.
One of our click and collect customers around this time was Pete Stacey, a volunteer DJ at The Cat FM who hosts the weekly alternative music show. After a few short and informal conversations it was decided that we would sponsor his weekly 'Like Clockwork' show. This was a great fit musically for us and also helped hugely to get our name out there to the music loving local community. This is a relationship that exists to this day.
As things began to open up a bit, non-essential retail was given the green light but hospitality was still under tight restrictions. Luckily for us, forward-thinking cafe owners like Connie and Rachel at Miss Marmalade's in Nantwich were hosting pop-up retail events as a way of keeping their businesses alive. They kindly offered us a run of five weekends on their first floor which was the perfect way to start testing the town's appetite for vinyl records.
The response was immediate. From the very first weekend, it was clear that there was a desire for a record shop that the local people would be more than happy to support. As the weeks went by we were getting busier and busier. With every record sold, we bought more and more and the weekly routine of carting the crates in was becoming a serious task.
It was clear that if Applestump was to continue we would need to find a permanent premises whilst we still had the momentum from the pop-up shop. It was time to house-hunt.
We only performed one more pop-up event before stumbling upon our current home. Luckily a friend of the family had a room. A room that was about to be vacated by an accountancy firm. A room close enough to town to attract town centre shoppers but far enough out not to attract town centre rents and rates.
So here we are, 12 Barker Street, Nantwich, CW55SY. We are incredibly proud of what's been achieved so far and eternally grateful to everyone that has given us a leg up along the way.
One final thing.
By far the most frequent question we get asked is 'where does the name come from?'.
"Applestump Records was the name of the first record shop I ever visited. I can remember vividly being blown away by the place and visited every day after school. I applied to complete my work experience there but ended up in a sports shop but continued to visit on my lunch break. Sadly the shop was forced to close some 25-years ago when the big boys (Our Price and MVC) came to town so I decided to pay homage to it.
On the eve of Record Store Day this year Richard, the owner of the original 'Apple Stump Records' in Cwmbran, contacted me on Facebook to say how pleased he was that the shop had such a positive impact on me and how he wished us all the best for the future. A gesture that makes me smile every time I think of it." - Steve