Steve Fenske, owner of The Vinyl Shop at 831 Broad St. in Grinnell, is ready to share his knowledge of music and vinyl records at his new business. Fenske has been involved in the music scene most of his life and brings that knowledge to his new business. The Vinyl Shop is stocked with an assortment of new and used vinyl records from rock to country and everything in between. Each vinyl record is checked over for quality control. Fenske specializes in buying and selling vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes, 45 records and used audio equipment.
By J.O. Parker
A renewed interest in vinyl records by music lovers all across this nation has led to a Grinnell man opening The Vinyl Stop.
Located at 831 Broad St. in the former Music Shop location, the business opened Feb. 3 and owner Steve Fenske said the vinyl revival, as he calls it, has come to Grinnell.
The business is stocked with hundreds of used and new vinyl records from rock to country and about every music style in between.
There are CDs, cassettes, 45 records, used audio equipment, speakers and even 8-track tapes. There are also music books and vinyl cleaning and storage supplies such as record sleeves and crates.
“I think people like something they can hold on to, read and look at,” said Fenske, who has been involved in the music scene most of his life.
Fenske had been tossing around the idea of opening a vinyl record business for some time and last summer he stopped at the Music Shop and was talking with then owner Dave Elliott.
“I was explaining to Dave about what I wanted to do and he suggested I buy the Music Shop from him,” recalled Fenske.
A deal was made between the two parties and Fenske took over the business in July 2022.
Fenske spent the next few months remodeling the building, adding a new restroom, replacing the ceiling and updating the display and store fixtures.
He designed a new business logo and ASI Signage did the rest.
“I found a display case in the basement and it works great for 45 records,” said Fenske. “I love the versatility of the slat walls (in the building) for displaying vinyl.”
Fenske grew up in Grinnell and graduated from Grinnell High School in 1989. After attending broadcasting school in Springfield, Mo., Fenske worked in radio in Springfield and in Perry, Iowa.
“I got out of radio and opened a DJ business called Partytime DJ Productions,” Fenske said. “I did that for 20 years offering DJ services at weddings, anniversaries, reunions and all sorts of gatherings.”
Fenske said he worked briefly for a gentleman at his record store in Marshalltown before opening The Vinyl Stop.
His love for music drew him back to Grinnell and opening the business in his hometown.
Each vinyl record in the store is examined for quality and condition. Used vinyl sells from $8 - $16 each and new vinyl, which includes brand new releases and reissues, sell for $18 - $28 each.
“Soon, I hope to be selling new turntables,” he said. “If you need a new needle for your turntable, I can order that, too.”
The business also has guitar picks, strings and straps for sale.
“I also do consignment on audio equipment and I buy and sell vinyl, CD and cassette tape collections,” said Fenske.
He said business has been good and he even sold some vinyl to a group of Grinnell College students who stopped during the opening weekend.
“It’s good to see young kids embrace the format,” he said. “I just love music so much. I enjoy passing my knowledge along. That is good for me.”
The business is open Wednesday and Thursday, 11 – 6; Friday, 11 – 7; Saturday, 11 - 6 and Sunday, 12 – 5. The business is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
The Vinyl Stop phone is 641-236-5980 or check out the business’ Facebook page.
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