Annemarie is the magazines editor and regular columnist for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Annemarie Quill: Welcome far from purr-fect


Not a good look for Tauranga when just three weeks after moving here, a business from Auckland is made to feel unwelcome.

New Tauranga store Vinyl Destination has been in the city for three weeks, having moved from Auckland.

It sells records, comics, toys and coffee. Sounds like a great addition to Tauranga's retail offerings. There is a global revival in vinyl, reports Dawn Picken In 48 Hours today.

The Recording Industry of America says total sales revenue of vinyl albums soared more than 30 per cent last year compared with 2014. The vinyl revival is rocking the Bay of Plenty. Sellers report good sales of new and old recordings, and a younger generation of buyers is swapping digital downloads for analogue albums.

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Tauranga's Priority One and the Chamber of Commerce and other entities do a lot of work to attract businesses to invest in the Bay.

Vinyl Destination is one of these.

So you'd think we would be thanking them for coming here so those who do like a bit of vinyl don't have to trek further afield to add to their collections.

And it is not just aged bogans with ponytails after a bit of Motorhead that are potential customers.

As Picken reports, at last weekend's Respin Record Fair in Tauranga, teenagers were discovering LPs, with one local 16-year-old saying, "It's just so much better than digital music or CDs or anything. It's so different. It looks cool, as well. I love it."

So the new owner of Vinyl Destination should be living the dream in the Bay.

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Instead he has been forced to defend one of his 'employees', after a complaint was made to authorities in an effort to shut the shop down.

The owner said someone had posted on the shop's Facebook page about the 'employee' saying, "This is very unprofessional, it's disgusting. I've been in this city for 15 years," and so on.

Then the owner got a call from the council saying they had received an anonymous complaint.

Which 'employee' had caused such a catty complaint about this new business?

You expect bearded, long-haired hipsters in the record industry, but this 'employee' takes hirsuteness to a new level.

And great news for the store that Callaway has managed to turn this complaint around with some impressive publicity.
Annemarie Quill

He is deaf, which makes his work in a record store challenging at times, but he hasn't let his disability stand in his way.

Customers adore him, and while flicking through the records, often give him a stroke and a cuddle. The 'employee' who has had such an inhospitable welcome is none other than a 15-year-old, deaf cat. You must be kitten me.

Callaway has been the store mascot for several years. Store owner Luke Wormald said the 15-year-old deaf cat was a much-loved part of the store and even had his own Facebook page.

But now it looks like Callaway could be up for a new role as head of marketing.

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On Wednesday, Mr Wormald put a photo of Callaway on the Vinyl Destination Facebook page expressing his frustration at the complaint and explaining that the store and Callaway were abiding by the rules. Since then it has gone viral and he has been overwhelmed by support.

Great news that the majority of Tauranga residents are doing their bit to show the Bay of Plenty is welcoming to visitors and new residents.

And great news for the store that Callaway has managed to turn this complaint around with some impressive publicity.

If we hadn't heard of Vinyl Destination before, we have now.

Someone give that cat a purrmotion.

The Food Act 2014 states: "Animals must not be allowed in any area used for the processing and handling of food. Pet animals may - at the discretion of the business - be allowed in customer areas provided food on display is protected from contamination."

Vinyl Destination is registering as a low-risk food business given it sells coffee.

It doesn't seem that Callaway is putting anyone at risk. If so, as someone pointed out on our Facebook page, you would have to ban cats from all homes as food is eaten at home.

There are even cat cafes around the world, including Auckland, where cats curl up while you sip your flat white.

It is right that people have the opportunity to complain to Tauranga City Council about any concerns around our city. But surely the council has better things to do than this.

Hopefully the complainant will paws for thought, withdraw their claws and let Callaway get back to guarding venerable meowsicians on vinyl like Cat Stevens and the Pussycat Dolls.

- In support of you, Callaway, the Bay of Plenty Times newsroom has come up with a compilation that would be clawsome on vinyl. We know you can't hear, but you can still be feline the music.

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

Cool for Cats by Squeeze

Stray Cat Strut by Straycats

What's New Pussycat by Tom(Cat) Jones

Cats by Andrew Lloyd Weber

A Meowment like this by Kelly Clarkson

Can't Fight This Feline Anymore by Reo Speedwagon

Black Cat by Janet Jackson

Cat People by David Bowie

Cat Size by Suzi Quattro

Honky Cat by Elton John

Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons

Stray Cat Blues by The Rolling Stones

The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

Lovecats by The Cure

Year of the Cat by Al Stewart

- Bay of Plenty Times

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