Hidden Gems in the CLE: Passion and quality drive Gotta Groove Records

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CLEVELAND -- If you're a Clevelander, by now you know our city has been soaring up the hot list for the past few years.  We've got the Rock Hall, Flats East Bank, Great Lakes Science Center, and the West Side Market -- to name a few!

But what about those unique spots that not many people know about? We're talking about the Hidden Gems in the CLE.  And, thanks to our friends at Destination Cleveland, we're showing you one of Northeast Ohio's coolest places.

When you hear the name Gotta Groove Records, you might think of a store, filled with endless amounts of vinyl records.  But it's really not that at all.

Located on Superior Avenue, Gotta Groove is a record-making powerhouse, both for the public, and for artists. It produces between 15-20,000 vinyl records each week to shipped out to businesses across the United States.

The record-making process starts with the master recordings which are transferred into lacquer discs.  They're grooved so that stampers (metal discs that contain original recordings) can execute the final version of the vinyl record.

From there, tiny cubes of vinyl are fed into the grooves of the lacquer discs. Then, they're pressed down between two stampers for side A and B of the album.

The round label in the middle of the record is melted into it during the process.  Gotta Groove doesn't just make black, vinyl records.  They offer a multitude of colors, including glow-in-the-dark and glitter.

Owner Vince Slusarz says he was looking to build a business from the ground up, and the resurgence of vinyl records in 2006-2007 sparked his interest.

Slusarz found all of his record-making equipment from a company in New Jersey that was closing.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Gotta Groove opened on 2009, just as the demand for vinyl records was taking off again.  Slusarz says it might have something to do with people wanting the physical format of music again, in the age of streaming, downloads and on-the-go music.

"There are people who prefer to own something physical.  Books are a good comparison to that. There are people who prefer to own a physical book rather than reading on a Kindle," Slusarz said. "For those people still wanting to own something physical, vinyls are a more tactile, engaging format. So, I think that's a big reason why we're seeing this start back up."

Gotta Groove refers to themselves as the "Artists Preferred Press Maker." But, what do they mean by that?

“We want our focus to be on artists and smaller independent labels.  We felt there was a market place for that segment because these pressing plants were, not necessarily being ignored, but  not getting the attention they deserved because these pressing plants were often pressing for large labels," Slusarz said.

It's a one-stop-shop, meaning artists can get vinyl LPs, along with all the packaging that comes with it.

Slusarz said beyond the excellent quality of the records, and the attention to detail, the best thing about Gotta Groove is who works there.

"Our employees.  They're passionate about what they do and you can't teach that. Generally, you have to have that."

For much more about Gotta Groove Records, click here.

Look for our hashtag on social media: #HiddenGemsCLE.  Do you know of one in Cleveland? Send ideas to lbuckingham@fox8.com.  We just may come check it out!

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