Happy Valley is the kind of store you walk into and wish you owned everything in there – books, homewares, accessories, design-type gifts. Owner Chris Crouch is the former owner of Polyester Records and the Tramway Hotel in Fitzroy North.
When we visit Happy Valley in March he’s busy shuffling things around to make way for new shelves that will house a hefty collection of records.
“Over the years I've had so many ask when we were stocking vinyl,” says Crouch. “At Christmas time I had trouble finding indie classics that I would want to buy, so I thought there must be plenty of other people chasing new albums, locally
“We've got over 1000 titles from around the globe, so it's been a big job. There's a few second-hand vinyl shops on Smith Street, so we're just focusing on stocking new vinyl, lots of classics and indie faves.”
For example you’ll now find new releases from Spoon, The Shins, Laura Marling and Ryan Adams. The record rack also includes jazz, soul, hip-hop and electronica.
“We think there will always be a demand for the physical whether it be vinyl or books,” Crouch says. “It’s hard to impress anyone with a Spotify playlist like you can with a great vinyl collection.”