HiFi Records & Café: Bringing High Fidelity Vinyl Back To Astoria, Queens

Business Highlights

* Distributes U-Turn Audio turntables, keeping vinyl alive

* Works with local musicians to obtain venue space for music showcase

* Has an inventory of 1000s of records, despite limited space

Click here to learn more about HiFi Records & Café

When Javi Velazquez’s daughter was born fifteen months ago, he had a decision to make — one that would involve increasing his family’s financial security and the capstone to American success: owning his own business. In his case, this meant opening up a record store — a nostalgic throwback in today’s digital music mediascape.

For Javi, opening a record store was the realization of a deep-seated, long-held aspiration — he had worked at one throughout high school and college. At the time he was considering opening a store, he was working as a project manager for a small disabled veteran-owned business. Colleagues had mentioned SCORE, and he did some research and liked what he found.

“What appealed to me was that I would be mentored by previous business owners, people with experience with starting up a business from zero,” said Javi. He reached out to one of SCORE’s mentors, Jerry Litner, who worked with him to prepare a business plan. “What was my idea? How was I going achieve it? What funds did I have available? How would I get additional funds? These are the kind of questions Jerry pushed me to answer,” said Javi.

With a business plan in hand, Javi was able to secure additional funding, find a space that worked with his financials, and open his Astoria-located HiFi Records & Café. “SCORE’s selfless efforts and wealth of wisdom has made my dream a reality,” he said. “Now I get to spend more time with my family, my baby girl and my passion.”

Video Transcription

"My name is Javi Velazquez, I am a husband, a father, and I own a record store in Astoria called hifi records.  Score helped me develop my business plan, they did help me streamline our business plan and keep me focused on my goals and my projections and how I was going to achieve it and the realities of what my cash flow were, so that was very important. 

First of the choices I had to make was location and size and my budget, typically somebody wants to be in a location that has the most foot traffic, because your rationale is foot traffic equates to more business but at the same time retail business is cyclical, it has its moments that are ups and downs, but your rent is not and that's going to stay there hindering you on the moments you are really low, so I made the choice of going to a location that was a little bit off the beaten path. 

It allowed me the storage and the space I needed to execute my vision of the store and still be able to attract customers to that and it became more of a destination and actually people seek me out because of course they are vinyl enthusiast."

SCORE Success Story - Javi Velazquez (2017)