Budgie to take it easy after 33 years selling music
NOT working weekends is what Kevin "Budgie" Budge says he is most looking forward to, having closed the doors at Park Beach Music and Hi-Fi after more than three decades in business.
Store owner and well-known local Kevin announced in April the business would close, to allow he and wife Carol time to unwind and enjoy life.
"For the past 20 years we have been working seven days a week, so it's time for us to take it easy," he said.
"We have survived and thrived throughout the years, even when big name competitors have opened up around us, our customers have remained loyal and we just can't thank them enough for that."
Kevin said a passion for music is what led him to owning the store, which sold hi-fi and home theatre equipment, music instruments and a diverse range of CDs and DVDs.
"I got a job at the Coffs Music Centre when I left school and stayed there for about six and a half years.
"Then at the store, we had to keep changing and moulding ourselves to all the changes we've seen over the years.
"When I first got the shop, we were basically a record shop with cassettes, and even the odd eight-track.
"CDs came into Australia, really in 1983, and they started to take a hold of the industry in the late 80s.
"They really took off and that's where we saw the demise of records."
The store was known for the wide range of music genres kept, and Kevin's ability to source music from more obscure artists.
Having listened to a bit of everything over the years, he said his favourites were rhythm and blues and singer-songwriter style music.
And it comes as no surprise Kevin has served some famous faces after so many years in the industry.
He even helped another local icon - Russell Crowe - with the hi-fi system at his Nana Glen home.
"There were some high-profile customers, with Russell Crowe being one of them.
"But we value all our customers the same and hopefully gave the same service to everybody who walked in the door, and that's why we lasted as long as we did."
Kevin said he isn't retiring, but rather taking a break from retail.
"I have a business in Indonesia called Resort Latitude Zero and I'd like to spend some more time there.
"But Coffs is our home and we'll always be here.
"Our quest is to get a job where not every weekend is taken up by working."