After having a couple of really small shops in Falmouth selling specialist folk and world music while also working in a cafe, I had the idea of trying to join the two… I waited for a favourite location on the high street to come up for rental and a few months later Jam was born. June 2003 we opened with a tiny amount of stock, a beautiful Faema coffee machine and some battered old furniture, most of which is still here! In the beginning we stayed specialist but after the local Our Price closed there was a gap to cover a broader range of music and we have carried on expanding ever since.
We’ve sold all sorts besides music - art and design books, journals, indie film on DVD in addition to the CDs and vinyl. We now have a large stock of secondhand and new vinyl in the basement and two areas of sofas and chairs for drinking coffee while being gently persuaded to buy some new music. It works. Our customers are a great mix of locals, students and holiday makers who often come back year after year.
Jam is a shop where we have created an environment to encourage people to spend some time, have a coffee and relax in to it. So the shop closing and trying to move some of the business online has been a big challenge. It’s a small online store, which reflects the mix of records we have in the real shop - new indie releases, soul and jazz reissues, modern classical and soundtracks.
It’s not the same sat at home uploading items to the web store but it has been lovely having customers seek us out and genuinely wanting to help the shop through this challenge. I admit it has also been good to have a break after 17 years of treading the same boards behind the counter… we’ve been treading the moors and coast path instead.
In isolation in west Penwith I have mainly been listening to the birds in the garden but revisiting some classics with #Timstwitterlistening parties – Midlake and the Cocteau Twins have been real highlights for me. That listening community has been a revelation.
We’re thinking how we can reopen safely when the time comes and serve up some fresh take away coffee to go with the new tunes. Looking forward to it. See you on the High Street - I’m the one standing next to the black dog.