Music misfits find new expanded home

Triple J's Music Cafe is moving; and it all started with an eviction notice. The music store's owners, Jordi and Jeremy Jones, suddenly found out last August that they were being pushed out of their longtime Fourth Avenue location.

Triple J’s Music Cafe is moving; and it all started with an eviction notice.

The music store’s owners, Jordi and Jeremy Jones, suddenly found out last August that they were being pushed out of their longtime Fourth Avenue location.

“The owners of the restaurant that moved in next door I think aggressively wanted to take over the building,” said Jordi.

Maybe it was the tattoo parlour that didn’t jive with the building’s new feel. Or the loud alternative rock music that Triple J’s specializes in supplying. Or maybe it was the extra-loud graffiti that the Jones’ had painted on the side of the building.

Either way, the Jones’ misfit mecca became a misfit itself.

“What was this big obstacle became this opportunity,” says Jordi, standing among the unopened boxes strewn across the store’s new location.

They found their new office space, after four months of searching, in a two-floor property behind the Hougen building. They’re set to open on March 1.

The new location doubles their space, and will allow the Jones’ to vastly expand their business, which could be described, for lack of a better term, as counter culture services.

Pipes. Spray paint. Piercings. Custom-made T-shirts. Pink Floyd posters. Anything parents wouldn’t like, they’ve got it.

But there’s a twist. The Jones had to partner with a member of the Yukon’s business old guard, the Hougen Group of Companies, to rent the new place.

“I was a little unsure about partnering with someone who had so much commercial status because we really wanted to maintain our independence,” said Jordi. “That’s what we fiercely want to protect.”

So far, the move seems like a great fit.

“There’s such a good vibe coming out of this place,” she said.

The store is right behind CD Plus, another Hougen tenant. The Jones don’t consider there will be too much overlap.

“We cater to totally different demographics,” said Jordi.

The music stores have some history.

Six months after the Jones opened their store on Fourth Avenue in 2004, CD Plus moved downtown from the Qwanlin Mall.

“Now we’re right behind them,” said Jeremy.

And while the Jones don’t think CD Plus is a threat to their customer base, there’s obviously some healthy competition going on.

“There’s no personality there, it’s a franchise with hundreds of stores,” said Jordi.

“It’s a chain,” echoes Jeremy.

Business friction in a small-town is never easy.

The Jones have had to balance stepping on the toes of other businesses that do some, but not all, of what Triple J’s offers.

They decided against adding computers to their new location because their friend owns Titan Gaming, also in the Hougen Centre, which already offers internet cafe-type services.

And for years they stayed away from jazz and blues because another music store, Rose Music, specialized in the genres.

But now, two years after Rose Music’s closure, they’re branching out to fill the music gap.

“We had a good rapport with them and so we focused on our genres, but since they’ve shut down, there’s been more demand,” said Jordi.

The store’s new location, alongside its traditional spectrum of hip-hop, stoner metal, punk, alternative and indie, will now also feature blues, jazz, world and folk music.

The store will also finally follow up on its cafe moniker. The Jones’ have partnered to create their own coffee blend to be served while music-lovers peruse albums.

But the big thrust in the Jones’ business plan is to expand with totally new services.

Triple J’s will now have an art gallery for edgier artists, called Gallery 22, on the second floor. Artists like Gisli Balzer, Dan Bushnell, Ian Parker and Rory O’Brien are scheduled to display their works in the gallery after the opening.

Another big addition will be the expanded vinyl collection. They’re getting custom-made vinyl boxes made but already the room seems crowded with records.

The Jones are taking another leap by offering a service to burn vinyl into digital formats.

“When you do the transfer, it keeps all the hisses and pops,” said Jeremy.

“The tricky part will be trying to keep the rich bassy sound, but we’ve got software for it,” he said.

Customers have been asking for a service to bring their old school treasures onto their iPods for years, said Jordi.

“We’re trying to focus on what people can’t get done,” she said. “We’re looking for things that you can’t get at CD plus, that you can’t get at the Hempisphere.”

Triple J’s will continue to hold piercing services, done by Jen Densmore. And a tattooing bed is already laid out for Dan Bushnell, who was their tattoo artist at their former location.

The Jones have also expanded their merchandising with more skateboard brands like Skull and Hook-Ups.

“We’ve loved these since high school and we couldn’t find them in the North,” said Jordi. “Even going down to Vancouver, I couldn’t find these in the stores.”

And as the youth of yesteryear enter their older years, the Jones seem to be making a concerted effort to expand their clientele into older demographics.

“I feel like we were a little more intimidating to older generations in our old shop,” said Jordi.

The store will soon have big glass doors installed, she said, to invite people in.

It’s all part of their maturing process, said Jordi.

“We call it our evolution,” she said. “We were adolescents in our old shop and now we’re growing up a little bit.

“But I wouldn’t say we’ve quite become adults yet.”

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com.