Dana Point, Ca. - The age of vinyl records is spinning its way back into southern Orange County with McGreat Deals Records located in Dana Point, across the parking lot from Hennessey's Tavern.
Owner Ian Mc Gregor (34), opened his first record store in July 2012. With a passion for music and all things Rock n' Roll, the candid and witty entrepreneur shares his record store journey in a Q&A with a San Clemente Patch blogger, Rachel Salas.
Rachel Salas: What made you want to open a record store?
Ian Mc Gregor: I wanted to open a record store because I was already selling records through my website and the eBay store. My wife wanted me to clean out our back room so that people would have a place to crash if they spent the night. I tried to get rid of stuff, meaning records, so my wife suggested I put them all on eBay.
As time went on, the records sold for more money than I expected, so I started buying more of the same ones and doing it again until eventually her plan of clearing out the back room backfired. It was full of records and basically became a record store, which blossomed into an eBay store, which blossomed into a website.
My wife wanted me to get out of the house, put on work clothes, shower, and not roll out of bed to the desk - which was supposed to be her office, but was now a record store. It looked like here, but there, with even more records.
At the time, I was also bartending at the Ritz Carlton. I was burned out and not spending enough time with her. The eBay store had been going on for two years, but the website was short-lived because it didn't have the same exposure since it's not global. That propelled me to stop the website and open a record store.
I was looking for offices and this place became available. I came to look at it and thought, "Holy sh**, this could become a record store."
R.S.: Have you always been music lover?
I.M.: I grew up in the Bay area and have been collecting records since I was 12-years-old. When we were in sixth grade, my buddies and I would take the city bus instead of the school bus, and transfer to the Bart train. We'd go to Berkeley and Rasputin's because we were lackey kids and our parents were working. We'd buy records in the city and get home right before our parents did - most of the time. We'd be sitting there and they'd say, "What did you do today?" We'd say, "Oh nothing." We were about five feet tall, walking around the city all day.
I also used to hang out at a record store and bug the owner every day when I was a little kid - the CD Spot is what it was called. The owner would finally give me a hand full of flyers and have me walk around the shopping center and put them on every car. He'd give me a tape-single of White Snake or Motley Crew, and I thought that was the raddest thing ever for four hours of work. I have always been a music lover.
R.S.: Is opening a record store your childhood dream?
I.M.: It was probably a subconscious dream. My true dream was to become a super hero - I wanted to have super-human powers. As far as a profession, I never really had a dream, but this is something I would have always loved to do but never thought possible. I didn't plan it and it happened. I am extremely lucky.
RS: How was the first month in business?
I.M.: The first month was a little rocky, but has since been a lot better. Word of mouth is really getting out there. I also have a lot of cool kids that come in here - kids in seventh and eighth grade that I would assume would rather be on computers, on Facebook and Instragram, and not really into anything that isn't interactive. But in reality, they like personal interaction. It's rad.
R.S.: Where did the name of your record store come from?
I.M.: McGreat Deals? One day, my buddies Vince Esquivel and John Robertson were busting my balls about what I would call my then website. "I don't know, McGreat deals," I said. They started laughing. Then I was like, "Actually I like that." Sometimes people don't understand it, but the funny people with a cool sense of humor love it.
McGreat Deals Records:
34102 La Plaza Unit #D
Dana Point CA, 92629
Phone: (949) 488-3452
Hours: Tues.-Sun. 12:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.