Boo Boo Records has been in business for over thirty five years in San Luis Obispo County. The formula for our success ultimately comes down to one thing… We offer the highest level of customer service available. This, along with our superior knowledge, is something that one cannot find in the big box discount stores or internet file sharing sites. What we offer our customers is a fulfilling experience when they enter our store.
Boo Boo’s founding partners, Ed Taylor and Glenn Forbes, met almost accidentally in 1974 through their wives’ high school friendship. Forbes decided he wanted out of the big city, so he retired from the secure employment of PacBell in southern California. He then headed north with his family. Independently, Taylor took a leave of absence from his teaching career at Blair High School in Pasadena, CA. He and his wife headed up the coast to find a healthier place to live and work. Two weeks after Forbes and Taylor left southern California, they met coincidentally in Pismo Beach.
They spent the week discussing their venture and plans. The Forbes’ plan was to settle in Oregon, while the Taylor’s had originally targeted Santa Cruz, CA. After much debate, they soon decided that San Luis Obispo county offered the type of environment they sought. After a few days of negotiating, Boo Boo’s was founded with an original investment of only $700.00!
With only the desire to work and no business background, Taylor and Forbes worked the local swap meets for the next four months. They sold used records and collectible items. Then, in December of 1974, they decided to open a retail store to sell their used records, their wives’ artwork, and collectibles. They had no idea what the future had in store for them. There were four other viable stores in San Luis Obispo; two independents and two chains. Boo Boo’s opened as a quiet alternative in the then, “dark side of town”. The store was adjoining a low income hotel and adjacent to the railroad station. The original size of the store was only 300 square feet! In the next year, new records replaced most of the artwork and antiques. A line of paraphernalia was added, and Boo Boo’s was becoming the “underground” record store near the railroad station”.
Taylor and Forbes had to use most of their savings to keep the store afloat. But eventually the business grew, and in 1976 they opened a satellite store in Grover Beach, just twelve miles south of San Luis Obispo. For the next four years, Boo Boo’s struggled to stay alive while the partners gained more experience in the retail record industry. After five years of growth and struggle, Taylor and Forbes moved from their modest location of 800 square feet (they’d expanded from the original 300 sq. ft. over the 5 yr. period) to a downtown storefront two blocks from the San Luis Obispo Mission. This was a much higher profile portion of downtown known as the “Historical Section”.
After a few years of growth and an increase in the number of employees, Mike White became the manager of the San Luis Obispo store. His passion and organization streamlined the work started by Taylor and Forbes. In 1986, Mike White was invited to become an active managing partner in Boo Boo Records. Seven years later, another former employee, John Huffman, was also brought on board as a partner.
The San Luis Obispo store has grown to encompass 5,000 square feet of the 900 block on Monterey St. In the late 1990’s Boo Boo’s expanded their offerings to include music and film on DVD. This expansion enabled the store to become a complete entertainment media emporium. In 2006 an internet arm was launched to locate and sell hard to find CD’s, DVD’s, & Vinyl. The internet business trades under the name Boo Boo Media and is active on Amazon, Half.com, eBay, and Gemm.