Seven Daysies Awards: Best record store, 2008

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Best record store 

Pure Pop (Burlington) & Buch Spieler (Montpelier)

Inside Chittenden County

Pure Pop

Downtown Discs

Outside Chittenden County

Buch Spieler

Riverwalk Records


The age of digital downloads means the demise of the record store, right? For some of the giants, such as Tower, yes. But hold on. Little Montpelier, Vermont, has two record stores. And one of them, the 35-year-old Buch Spieler, has won five Daysies in a row. Owner Fred Wilber is the first to admit it hasn’t been easy lately. He makes money on the side deejaying weddings and parties, and keeps the cash flow going with an eBay outlet. No question CD sales are tanking, especially for the under-25 crowd.

But some of his customers come in for the other merch: the best — and funniest — greeting cards in central Vermont, along with a sassy selection of tongue-in-cheek gifts. “One of our bestselling items this summer is bumper stickers,” says Fred, with mottos such as “How many roads must a man travel down before he admits he is lost?” Too bad Tower Records didn’t think of that.

-Pamela Polston

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