Ask A Skate Shop - Drug Store

by Dan Bunn

In the run-up to Skate Shop Day, we thought we'd reach out to some our favourite shops across the UK to ask them some not-so-serious questions about the highs and lows of running a skate shop.

Sam Avery and family outside the old Drug Store shop in Norwich - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store

Following in Syd's footsteps, we've got mega lej, Sam, from Norwich's Drug Store skate shop who pulled no punches in his brutally honest (and hilarious) responses. Sam has been doing absolute bits for the Norwich scene over the 15 years that the shop has been open and he recently claimed a huge NBD by transforming a 15th Century church into a 21st Century skate shop - even building an indoor skatepark in there for everyone to enjoy as well. He's also the only person to honestly answer every single question so he clearly doesn't do half measures. Safe Sam!

  • One product you thought you’d never get rid of?
    • Some Gold wheels. They were ridiculously thin and two different sizes.
  • Favourite skate shop video?
    • All Danny Jackson’s videos.
  • Do you think making a shop video is important?
    • I am disgusted by shops who have never made videos. What are you playing at? Do your job better!
  • Worst thing about deciding to film a shop video?
    • I have very little involvement so no problems for me. Danny or Spex might say otherwise 😂
  • One thing you wish people knew about skate shops?
    • Supporting means buying stuff, not just popping in. Sale products don’t count.
  • Best team rider?
    • Jasper Pegg. Him and Danny are an endless source of great clips at interesting spots.
Jasper Pegg switch frontside boardslide, photo by Danny Jackson - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
The dynamic duo, Jasper and Danny, with a tastefully shot and executed switch front board.
  • Worst team rider?
    • Anyone who stops skating. There have been a few.
  • Best shop employee?
    • Jack Garrett or Vlad Kalynin.
  • Worst shop employee?
    • Stephen Malet. The best guy but was once over 2 hours late for a 4 hour shift 😂 Sorry Steve mate. Love you.
  • Biggest ‘I will never financially recover from this’ moment?
    • We had 20 odd floods in 2 years in our old shop. One of them wrote off £25k of stock. The insurance company tried to pay us out £8k. Slimy bastards. Settled on £15k and was allowed to keep the damaged stock. That sucked.
  • Most famous shop visitor? Bonus: what did they get and did they ask for discount?
    • Ben Raemers. Nothing but he asked about soft wheels and was very nice.
  • Most played video in the shop?
    • [Foundation] Art Bars. We used to have mandatory “Last minute Markovich” at the end of each day.
  • Cheekiest request from a customer?
    • “Can I buy a board online and bring it in for you to grip and set up?”
  • Shop soundtrack?
    • Lately I’ve been enjoying some quiet time. Otherwise a lot of Melvins, Sleep, Om etc and all sorts of other stuff. I like it when music instigates a conversation with a customer and you make a connection. That’s always rad.
    • Best thing about running a shop?
      • Meeting good people.
    • Worst thing about running a shop?
      • Not getting paid. Just found out I’m eligible for benefits despite working full time for 15 years.
    • Most common question you get asked?
      • “Is it ok to just look at the church?"
    Drug Store Skate Shop in St Peter Parmentergate Church, Norwich - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
    Not quite 'heaven is a halfpipe' but it'll do.
    • The shop wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for…
      • Me and my wife Lynne.
    • Best memory from a shop trip or session?
      • Skating that snake run thing in Paris with Danny was good. I’d always wanted to go there.
    • If you could start over again what would you change/do differently?
      • I should have packed it in when my daughter was born. Too late now!
    • If you could bring back one brand from the grave what would it be?
      • Adrenalin Skateboards.
    • Best thing to come out of working in a shop?
      • I’ve met some really great people and I still skate regularly. I’m my own boss, albeit a terrible one, and I enjoy my job when the financial pressure eases off.

    That's enough chit-chat though. Head to the shop to buy the latest skateboard decks, clothing, shoes and more from CSC. Or, check out the rest of our Ask A Skate Shop series on the CSC Blog. Safe.

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