Homegrown Business: John Hughes of Groove Cat Books and Records

Groove Cat Books and Records is a local BC gem located in New Westminster prioritizing community and local arts. Their love for community led them to creating a space where they could prioritize safety and promote local authors, musicians and artists. They have a wide range of used books and records and an adorable store cat you can check out as well. We had a chance to speak with store co-owner and operator John Hughes to find out more!

Groove Cat Books and Records

 What is your business called and what does it do?

Groove Cat Books and Records. We are primarily a used book & used record shop, but we also sell local authors’ books, some new titles, and art by local artists. We are also a community hub with a safe gathering space. We run a local authors’ book club, have local musicians perform from time to time, as well as host various other events.

What made you want to do this work?

We both love books & music. Each of us has experience in these areas, with Cat having run a business previously, as well as a professional music website, while I have taught in a number of relevant areas (including a course on the Cultural Production of Popular Music) at the college & university levels.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

There are too few community spaces and bookshops left in the city. Our shop does sell books & records, but the key thing was to create a community space where people can chat with one another, sit on our couch, read a book, listen to some good music & hang out with our friendly shop cat, Luna.

Who are your clientele/demographics? 

Everyone who likes books, records & a fun community vibe.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We are a friendly community shop with great customer service that sells quality used books and records.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

775 6th Street, New Westminster, B.C.

Groove Cat Books and Records

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Can we hang out with your cat while we listen to music & read a book? YES!!!

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is serving the community. New Westminster has really embraced us and we are so grateful. We love this community and we love our little shop. We take great pride in it and feel blessed to be here. The worst part is closing the doors at night.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Not a joke but a favourite bookshop quotation: “These places are time machines, spaceships, story-makers, secret-keepers. They are dragon-tamers, dream-catchers, fact-finders, and safe places. They are full of infinite possibilities and tales worth taking home.” ― Jen Campbell, The Bookshop Book

Where can we follow you?

Facebook | Instagram | Tiktok

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

Western Sky Books (used & new books) 2850 Shaughnessy St, Port Coquitlam. The owners, Tamara and Dianne, are wonderful people and their shop is a treasure of new and used books. Also, Orange Crush Velvet (used books & vintage clothing) 611 12th Street, New Westminster, B.C. 778-707-8737 . Funky shop with a cool vibe and awesome owners (Slay and Shawna).


About Demian Vernieri 534 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.