Charlotte Smith was ecstatic when she heard Atomic Pop Shop owner Kerry Beary wanted to sell her business.
As 225 details in a new feature, Beary, the longtime owner of the Mid City record shop, was relocating and hoped she could find a buyer so the store wouldn’t be forced to shut down.
Owning a record store was a lifelong dream for Smith, an avid vinyl collector. Beary’s departure allowed Smith to finally make that dream a reality. In March, she took over the business.
The store has a new name—Pop Shop Records—but former patrons of Atomic Pop Shop won’t notice any drastic changes in the space. Smith believes the atmosphere has become even more inviting than it already was since she took over, though, with an upgraded listening station and an added emphasis on creating a hang-out spot for music lovers.
Read the full 225 Q&A with Smith. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:
Why do you think Pop Shop Records is important for Baton Rouge culture?
“The main thing that has shocked me more than anything is the amount of people who have come in specifically to thank us for keeping it open. I knew it was important to me, my friends and my generation. But to find out that there are these 20-somethings who are collecting as well. On Saturdays, there is nothing sweeter to me than seeing parents coming in with their kids and couples coming in together. That’s why it’s important.”