Joe Pizzicato and his partner Hannah have run independent record shop Pizzicato Music from Botley Mills since October 2019, selling a wide range of vinyl, CDs and prints to all pockets and sourcing items for any record collectors, too.
The business was created when Hannah prompted care worker Joe, who lives in Eastleigh, to think about what he wanted to do with the rest of his career, during which he’d spent 28 years working 25-hour shifts caring for adults with learning disabilities.
Joe, whose surname comes from his Italian dad, said: “I thought, ‘what’s my passion, what do I know about and what’s also a little bit unknown’, and the answer was selling records. Hannah had some retail experience and after we watched Empire Records one night we thought, ‘right, let’s do it’. Pretty much straight away I had two contacts who could source what I needed and I spent a few months gathering stock.
“My friend Emma’s mum suggested having a look at Botley Mills for a premises as Emma’s here running Mrs Potts By The River. As a small start-up business, the month-to-month contract was very important to us and then when family came to see the shop, we found out that Hannah’s mum was born upstairs in this building, her dad and uncle used to work at the mill, and her nan was a cleaner there! So Hannah’s now the third generation of her family here.
“We get a lot of youngsters in buying vinyl as well as older customers and we have some people who visit twice a week. We introduced a loyalty card last September which was an instant hit – the first 250 cards flew out the door – and people seem to love the personal touch we offer. Our backgrounds made us think about how to make the shop work for everyone, so we made sure there’s a disabled entrance and plenty of space.
“Honestly we’ve never been happier. Now that we work for ourselves and work together in the same place, we argue less than we did when we worked in separate jobs!”
Pizzicato Music the listening station.