Home Cat owner New owner finds her footing at Royal Cat Records

New owner finds her footing at Royal Cat Records


Royal Cat Records has a new owner who has been in the music industry for over 15 years.

New owner Sarah VandenBoom previously worked at HMV for 11 years and at Sunrise Records at the Stone Road Mall for five years.

“My mother came from the old HMV company, called Mister Sound, right out of high school. She was assistant manager of HMV when it opened in 1986, that was the year I was born. So I was raised in a musical environment,” VandenBoom said.

Her aunt was also an assistant manager at HMV for 26 years.

Unfortunately, VandenBoom’s mother passed away in 2006.

“It’s sort of a legacy that I wanted to carry on for our family and the love of music that we have,” VandenBoom said.

The song Brian Wilson by the Barenaked Ladies was often played by her mother. VandenBoom said the song was one of her inspirations and she still plays it almost every morning.

Owning a record store was part of his life plan. After HMV went bankrupt, she wanted to reconnect with the music community.

All discs came with the sale as a turnkey business.

Bryan Munn and his wife Kara were the former owners who opened Royal Cat Records on Macdonell Street six years ago. They also own Sweet! an ice cream and candy shop on Carden Street.

VandenBoom said she would keep Kara close as a friend and mentor.

The name will stick, the only things that will change are extended hours, a bigger social media presence, DJ nights and live shows at the store.

“For me, it’s about getting the music to people,” VandenBoom said.

Before becoming the owner of Royal Cat Records, she was a client.

“I was in the downtown scene in my twenties. As soon as I was able to go out and see the local shows and even before. I’ve been to concerts all my life,” she said.

She said she has always been in the local Guelph music scene.

“It’s very important to me, making sure local music is heard.”

VandenBoom’s musical tastes change with his mood. Her first love was R&B, but more recently she’s been listening to folk rock.

Sage Motel by the Monophonics is a record that she has been shooting for a short time. It’s a funk, jazz, soul fusion album. “Nice pick up, nice Sunday morning album,” she said.

When customers come in with a specific record in mind and it’s not on the shelf, VandenBoom can order it for them. She started making a record list from last week.

“It’s a dream come true,” she said as a woman owner of an independent record store in her hometown of Guelph.