Posted On: 17 Apr 2018

Mark Richardson, who spent 20 years working in the corporate world, was facing redundancy in 2016. Instead of viewing this as a negative, Mark saw an opportunity to follow his long-held dream of owning his very own record shop and with the reopening of The Piece Hall just around the corner where better to begin the venture?

With a long-standing fascination of vinyl records that began at the age of five when he would spend hours flicking through his father’s collection, Mark's vision was to combine a welcoming shop with the alluring smell of coffee in a relaxed and unique environment. A space where Mark could spend his days chatting to customers about their mutual love of music over a cup of locally roasted V60 coffee.

Mark initially set sail by himself, but when sales exceeded expectations in the opening month, he convinced Sarah, his partner of four years, to jump ship, leave her job in insurance and join him in the world of music retail.

Mark said, “Sarah and I actually met through work, but we’d never properly worked together until she joined me in the shop. I like to think our working relationship is similar to Lennon and McCartney – Sarah is on it with the admin and sorting out all the orders, whereas I tend to stay front of house, managing all our events and social media as well as being the face behind the counter.”

And the music-mad couple’s Piece Hall love story doesn’t end in the shop; on the opening day of the newly renovated heritage destination, Mark got down on one knee and proposed to Sarah under the stars and now the couple are expecting a baby in June too.

Before the new addition to the Loafers' family arrives, Mark and Sarah are gearing up for their first ever Record Store Day.

On Saturday 21 April, the gates to The Piece Hall will open from 5am to allow eager music fans to secure their place in the queue ready for Loafers doors to open at 8am. They have a jam-packed day with official record releases, limited edition prints by artist Vinyl Soul and live music from local psychedelia-folk quartet Birds and Beasts at 12pm.


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The Piece Hall heritage regeneration project is also supported by Garfield Weston Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation.
The Piece Hall is independently managed by The Piece Hall Trust, a registered charity, number 1156948. Registered in England and Wales, number 08906735.
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