Triple J’s turns 10

When Jordi Mikeli and Jeremy Jones met, they probably had no idea that their names, fused in marriage, would eventually form the title of a fixture for Whitehorse's fans of loud music, piercings and tattoos.

When Jordi Mikeli and Jeremy Jones met, they probably had no idea that their names, fused in marriage, would eventually form the title of a fixture for Whitehorse’s fans of loud music, piercings and tattoos.

This year is the tenth anniversary of Triple J’s opening its doors to the public.

As with many small businesses, Triple J’s started with a mix of passion, frustration and vision. At the time, Jeremy was working for the Department of Education, while Jordi was at the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board. Both felt the need for something different.

The first solution was academic escapism. Jordi wanted to pursue law and Jeremy had his eye on a teaching degree. But their shared dream was to open a music store with a “punk rock esthetic,” serving as “a counter-culture hub” for Yukon.

Triple J’s Music Cafe opened on May 3, 2004 at 41218 Fourth Ave, in the space beside what is now Antoinette’s Restaurant. From the beginning, the store filled a niche for Yukoners. Customers could special order their favourite heavy metal, stoner rock, alternative, electronic, or punk album while they ordered their coffee.

“We knew already we had the best special order service in the North,” Jordi explains. “That was something we always prided ourselves on. Our mantra is, if it exists in this world we can track it down and get it in for you.”

Building the business wasn’t easy for the Joneses. The couple went to half time at their respective jobs to work at the cafe. Jordi also took on a third job, working as Yukon’s first female resident disk jockey for the first three years of the business. Working under the handle, “3JDJ,” she played one night a week at the Capital and the Kopper King.

In 2009, Triple J’s moved into its current location at 308 Elliot St. The move allowed them to expand the store’s existing tattoo and piercing studio, boosting revenues and bringing more variety to Yukoners.

“We have guest artists from all over the world that have been here that just had the draw to the North,” says Jordi. Jen Densmore, Triple J’s original piercer in 2007, is now back on the roster.

More space meant more goods. Music on offer grew to include blues, jazz, folk, pop and world music. And those looking for locally produced music can find a deep collection.

A large portion of the second floor of the building, meanwhile, was renovated to become Gallery 22, a space for artists both local and from Outside to showcase their talents.

Customers now have over 200 different kinds of products from which to choose. “Anything you can throw a logo on,” says Jordi, from clothing to accessories. There is also a large selection of pipes, bongs and other marijuana paraphernalia.

The store also supports Jordi’s passion for animal welfare. She’s used the shop as a platform to produce over 200 events, mostly to the benefit of animals, the best known of which is the Sunstroke Music Festival.

Six hundred people came to the first festival, where punk rockers No Means No headlined for a measly $500. Now in its ninth year, the event attracts musicians who support the animal welfare cause from around the world and enjoys crowds of over 2,000. This $60,000 event receives no government funding and is completely volunteer-based.

After sitting on the board of Yukon Humane Society for six years, Jordi started Kona’s Coalition last March. Named in memory of her late canine companion, the non-profit uses Triple J’s as a base of operations and is dedicated to improving animal welfare in Yukon through education, advocacy, financial assistance, fostering and support. Fundraising efforts have garnered over $35,000 in the last year.

One might look at Triple J’s and wonder about its sustainability. It is, after all, a music store in a world of iTunes downloads. But to its co-founder, the store sells much more than that.

“I often say we sell cool,” Jordi says. “You need to be immersed in the demographic that you’re selling to. The reason we’ve been able to outlast the transition from CDs is the fact that we sell records. If we just sold CDs we would’ve gone the way of CD Plus. People of all ages can come in and find their favourite band on CD, on LP, on a patch, a sticker, poster, a hoodie. It’s so much more than one avenue. Because we know our customers by name, because we’re always pushing the envelope. We’re always thinking outside the box.”

Juggling the store, the gallery, the tattoo and piercing studio and Kona’s Coalition is a labour of love, Jordi says. And it’s love, whether it be for music or for your own four legged companion, that she hopes drives you to come visit her shop.

“I encourage people that when they’re spending their dollars, whether it’s here or Walmart, or even on Amazon, that they know where their dollar is going and that they make it count. If they support Triple J’s they’re supporting all these other endeavours.”

Contact Alistair Maitland at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)
Condolences shared for former Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias

Elias is remembered as a proud parent, hockey fan and politican

Reita, Dudley and Rodney Morgan at their Whitehorse home in 2002. (P. Gowdie/Courtesy Yukon Hidden Histories Society)
Recognizing Black history in the Yukon

Yukon’s Hidden Histories Society is entering its twentieth year of researching Black… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

(File photo)
RCMP arrest Saskatchewan murder suspect

Yukon RCMP have arrested a man suspected of attempted murder from outside… Continue reading

A Faro volunteer fire department truck in 2008. In a virtual press conference on Feb. 15, Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, territorial Community Services Minister John Streicker and Faro Mayor Leonard Fabor announced the Town of Faro will have a new public works and fire hall building in 2022. (Genesee Keevil/Yukon News file)
Fire hall, public works building will be built in Faro

Wildstone Construction Ltd. awarded contract

Most Read