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Deep Thoughts fills Jamaica Plain's vinyl needs

Posted by Anne Steele  April 24, 2013 05:15 PM

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Lauren Moquin/Globe Correspondent

Co-owner Pete Negroponte with two of his favorite finds in his store: “Pregnant Babies Pregnant With Babies” by Fat Worm Of Error and “False Relationships And The Extended Ending/The Viola In My Life” by Morton Feldman.

When Nick Williams and Peter Negroponte opened a new a record store in Jamaica Plain on April 1, they had no marketing plan.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Jamaica Plain did not have another record store.

But they’ve seen a steady flow of customers at their store Deep Thoughts, located at 138b South St.

“We thought people would just figure it out. We made a Facebook page and we made some flyers that we forgot to give out. Things have been going really great. One guy came from New Hampshire already. People figured out that it exists,” Williams said.

On the third day the store was open, just six months after the two came up with the idea for the store, Negroponte was home with food poisoning, but Williams filled the little store with his energy. He looked around the store and the six people sifting through items in different areas of the room.

“A store like this that has some of the more oddball stuff, it just attracts people,” he said. “They just want to come from wherever.”

People walking down South Street are drawn to the whimsical colors and shapes in the window and in the store. The store has already become a comfortable hang-out.

Customers linger on the white couch in the middle of the room either looking over their finds or conversing.

The variety of merchandise that draws customers to come in and hang out derives from the co-owners.

Williams had been the manager of Feeding Tube, a record store in Northampton, for a year and half and sold records on Discogs, a website for dealing vinyl. When it came time to build variety for Deep Thoughts, the two pulled all of their resources together.

“I’ve been dealing records for three or four years now,” Williams said, “so I already had a bunch of records. We used to work with about seven distributors, and we’ve been buying off people of the street,” Williams said. “No matter what the economic crisis or whatever may be happening, people always buy records.”

“Or cassettes,” a customer chimes in.

“Or cassettes, or books. I’ve actually been surprised that young people are coming in and buying books. I just thought that it didn’t happen as much anymore,” Williams said.

Deep Thoughts has also established itself as a place for live music and a place to hang out from 12-8 p.m. on any given day. Williams and Negroponte have worked to cultivate an environment of creativity and community, and Williams hopes it grows beyond their shop.

“There’s a couple stores for rent just a block away from us,” he said. “I encourage anyone who wants to open a bookstore, coffee shop, or whatever, to come down to South Street because things are just nicer here.”

This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and Emerson College.

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