Spinning up new business

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Pictou County will be getting into the groove this month when what will be the only store dedicated to selling vinyl records in the county makes its debut on Record Store Day.

Dennis Balesdent of Trenton has been spending the last few weeks sorting through hundreds of records getting ready for the grand opening of the store which will be located at 270 Foord St., Stellarton.

Balesdent has been running Ohm-n Audio from his home for a number of years fixing and selling stereo equipment and record players and he started selling records about three years ago. After hearing a number of people ask if there was a local store that sold records, Balesdent said he would have to explain that there were a couple of stores that had a few records and the flea market may have some on Sundays, but other than that there was no store to go to. That’s when he saw the opportunity to do something he had always wanted to do.

“After giving that answer I thought, I wouldn’t like hearing that,” he said. “I thought people needed a place to go.”

Balesdent has always been into music and grew up around it with his father having a large vinyl collection that first drew his interest. From there, the interest continued to grow and Balesdent has enjoyed learning everything he can about music. It is not only his records that he hopes to share but his extensive knowledge of music and bands and genres that he hopes can help people find the right thing for them.

“I started selling music because I wanted people to have a good knowledgeable place to get music,” he said. In the past year, Balesdent has held pop up record shops at King of Cups in Stellarton where he received a lot of interest and customers from the sales. These pop-ups are one of the big pushes that led him to open up a store, he said.

“I’ve always loved records,” he said. “I love the gear and everything to do with it. I find turntables to be a delicate balance, like a ballet on the inside.”

Whether you’re into jazz, the blues, rock, electronic or disco, Balesdent is likely to have something that will suit your jam in his extensive collection which is all sourced from people all over that he recruits to find and buy collections of records for him. For him it’s not just about the education though, he also enjoys connecting people with new music and rarities that they are excited to find.

With more than 2000 records ready to go into the shop, Balesdent is planning on opening for a one-day sale on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Record Store Day, an event started in 2008 to celebrate records and the stores that sell them. As he plans to have the store closed Sunday to Tuesday each week, the official opening of the store will take place on May 2 with lots of plans to celebrate.

Balesdent added that there will also be a raffle on the grand opening day for a basket with a sealed Beatles White Album and merchandise from local stores worth a couple of hundred dollars. All the proceeds of the raffle will go toward Pictou County Roots for Youth.

Dennis Balesdent of Ohm-n Audio shows off a small portion of the records he has to stock the shelves of his new record store in Stellarton.(Brimicombe photo)