Published Mar 13, 2017Last year, after just one year of operations, Calgary pressing plant Canada Boy Vinyl officially announced that it was ceasing operations. In the process, a number of record labels and independent bands were left without masters and/or with non-refunded deposits. Now, details have emerged about the problems that led to the company's quick demise.
The Globe & Mail interviewed Canada Boy chief operating officer Dean Reid and president Patrick Jakubec. In the piece, they both reveal the financial turmoil that led Canada Boy to stop pressing records.
The piece runs down exactly how Reid and Jakubec first went into business together. Formerly working in the construction business, Reid had approached Jakubec, an entrepreneur, about the prospect of opening a vinyl pressing plant.
Jakubec initially invested $500,000 into the company, but he quickly had to quadruple his investment. In other words, he had put $2 million into the company by the time it opened in September 2015.
The Globe reports that Canada Boy Vinyl was cash positive by the summer of 2016, but then its vintage machines started breaking down.
"A lot of people think that the record-pressing machine is this thing you plug into the wall like a vacuum cleaner and it starts making records," Reid said. "This thing is just like a freight train. It's totally live."
Broken machines also weren't the only problem. The company was overstaffed, a fact that Jakubec and Reid both agree on in the Globe piece. The company's website, no longer online, confirmed this. After all, Canada Boy was also said to be housing multiple record labels and, eventually, a coffee shop.
Further, orders slowed down in mid-2016 and Canada Boy changed marketing staff while receiving mixed reviews for its customer service. By August, Jakubec saw that costs were far outweighing the sales. "I couldn't justify putting any more money into it," he said.
Because of that, the company fell behind on its rent, owing some $66,000 for its warehouse space, with efforts to find more investors falling flat. As a result, landlord Ian Lawson locked Reid out of the warehouse. At this point, Reid started telling customers the company was "restructuring."
Reid is still eager to press records, though he'll need to find a different investor. Jakubec, who owns all of the company's equipment, will likely liquidate the assets in an attempt to recoup some of his losses.
Luckily, since the demise of Canada Boy, other companies have since stepped in to help fill the gap.