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Send me to the Dawghouse

January 12, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Not every music store in the Imperial Valley has recent albums by NAS, Jay-Z or Snoop Doggy Dogg, particularly on their release dates.

Dawghouse Music in Brawley does.

It has not just rap but oldies, old school, Spanish rap, Latin and more, music that isn't stocked at Wal-Mart, and if it is it's probably a "toned-down" version.

Music that was rarely available in the Imperial Valley and could only be purchased through a catalogue or online can be found at Dawghouse Music, 190 N. Plaza Suite B in Brawley.

"The Valley needed us," said Dora Fernandez, co-owner of the store.

"We could never find this type of music anywhere," she added, "and if we don't have it we'll order it at no charge and have it ready in two days."


Fernandez said her and her boyfriend and co-owner, Santiago Sandoval, opened the store about a year ago in the former Brawley police station at 790 B St.

She said they only had one display case with various CDs when they opened. Little by little they expanded into more music and other items such as sports and low-rider car memorabilia.

"My customers were patient. We've had a lot of loyal customers, too many to name them all, but we appreciate their business," she added.

They moved into their new location on Main Street on Nov. 13, 2000.

Fernandez, a former office manager, now works full-time running the store with the help of store manager Junior Reyes. Reyes also has worked at the store since they first opened. Fernandez has another part-time worker, Jennifer Hernandez.

Fernandez said what distinguishes her store from other music stores in the Valley is her album release dates. New records are normally released on a Tuesday.

Fernandez said she always has the newly released albums on their release dates. Other stores stock the new CDs about a week later.

"When we opened the business I was skeptical," said Fernandez, "but I'm glad we did."

She said she and Sandoval are discussing the possibility of expanding to El Centro. She said all they are looking for is the right store in the right location at the right price.

But Fernandez and Sandoval are looking to do more than just sell records.

They are trying to bring to the Valley reggae artist Gregory Isaacs. Fernandez said Isaacs is touring the U.S. and Dawghouse is trying to book him. The store won't receive final word until Wednesday.

The store is designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of people.

"We're a friendly store. We can get along with everyone," she said.

"It's an expensive business but we try to keep it affordable for everyone," she added.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. The Sunday hours are temporary.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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