Jose Cachemaille and her husband Grant Smithies have set up a record store in the Free House. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Record store for the love of music and beer

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Grant Smithies has spent half his life haunting the record stores of the world.

He even met his wife, Jose Cachemaille, in one – scoping her out at the now defunct Everyman Records when she worked there on her university holidays.

So when that store closed down there was a gaping hole in Grant’s heart.

“We thought that this is what Nelson needs. It is part of town’s culture.”

So they started looking for a space that was affordable enough for the pair to continue their day jobs – Jose as an artist and Grant as a freelance writer.

Grant was talking to friend who said: “Wouldn’t it be great if you could just crane in a hut into a space where people already went?”

Grant knew that Eelco Boswijk already had such a hut in the Free House on Collingwood St.

So he called him up and within a couple of weeks they were in there with crowbars tearing down a wall to create Nelson’s newest record store, and perhaps the only one in New Zealand housed inside a pub.

The pair hope the store, named Family Jewels, will become a welcoming space for all people to come and learn about music.

“We hope women, teenagers, will ferret though. We are going to set up turntables in the summer so people can play music out here to their mates,” Grant says.

They haven’t had an official opening yet but people have found out and have just started turning up.

Family Jewels is open every Friday and Saturday from about 1pm, with longer hours in the summer.

Grant has been collecting extra records for years for just this purpose but is still on the lookout for more.

If you have any vinyl you want to sell you can contact Grant on 022 362 0304.