Breakaway Records Offers Austines A Place To Buy And Sell Used Records

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Josh LaRue said he grew up listening to music and enjoys helping people find new favorites. (Photos by Darcy Sprague / Community Impact Newspaper)

Breakaway Records co-owner Josh LaRue lived in the North Loop neighborhood in the late ’80s and early’ 90s as a student at the University of Texas. Despite exponential growth that has changed the city over the decades since, for him the neighborhood where he now operates Breakaway Records has remained much the same.

“Change is inevitable, but this little pocket hasn’t changed as much as some of Austin’s,” LaRue said.

The record store, adorned with a ’60s-style sign and colorful records that create a stained-glass appearance, shares a parking lot with a vintage clothing store and Epoch Coffee, an easily recognizable mall with the big cafe mascot donning the corner.

The company’s location, in the vintage and artistic hallway, is part of its long-term success and an even more critical element to the store’s survival during the pandemic, LaRue said.

“I’ve been a lifelong music fan and have been collecting records since I was a kid,” LaRue said.

As he grew older and technology changed, his love for the medium remained unwavering. LaRue said he left Austin for a while, but when his family brought him back to town, he and his business partner Gabe Vaughn decided to start a local record store.

“I’m coming from an age where, you know, tapes were a little new,” LaRue said.

Breakaway Records, which has been around for 11 years, specializes in independent vinyl records that span decades. The main business of the store is buying and selling records collected by the Austinites, although the store also offers new selections.

“One of the cool things about running a record store here is that there are not only music fans, but there are people who have bought and collected records,” he said. said LaRue.

When the store first opened, LaRue said few labels were interested in producing vinyl. New technologies, such as iTunes, offered a cheaper and easier way to stream music. But Austin, with its population of music lovers and artists, had vinyl records to sell and trade. Then the records took off. The big labels started putting anything on a record, from Drake to classic reissues, that could sell.

Due to the pandemic, the store closed from March to November 2020, then reopened for the holiday season. LaRue and Vaughn rushed to set up an online store, but things were tight. LaRue said longtime customers have stepped up to help, either buying big gift certificates or ordering a steady supply of new records. LaRue said it was important to the neighborhood that the store survived.


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