Top Spins: classic vinyl records, laser-discs, and VHS galore

Sam Holton


Photo by Lila Metko

Mark Joanis, the owner of records store Top Spins

Lila Metko and Andrea Calzada-Vera


“Follow your heart. Find your niche,” says Mark Joanis about owning a business. He has been the owner of Top Spins record store for three and a half years. Music is Joanis’s niche. Born in 1965, he received his first record — a 1972 40 Funky Hits — from his mother when he was five years old. Joanis believes he gained a good background in music because of the era he grew up in.

Recalling the past, he said, “Back then all of the oldies stations played 50’s music.”

One of his favorites was a three-record collection by The Beach Boys. As he got older, he heard more and more music. Joanis’s favorite part of his job today is the people. “You meet people with a lot of similar interests. I think music is the greatest art. What else could bring 50,000 people together?”

Joanis, along with his friend Troy, have been thinking of having their own records store for years. He shared that he wasn’t exactly ready to run a store at the age of twenty, or at the age of thirty. To anyone aspiring to be a business owner, he says, “Follow your heart if you really believe in something. Hopefully, you’re an expert at what you take on, and you have to be a people person. You have to know country, you have to know  jazz, you have to know hard rock. If you’re gonna do a small business, it’s really gotta be a part of who you are.”

When asked how he built his collection of items at the store, he replied, “A lot of the top floor–the laser discs, the VHS tapes–all that comes from home. I brought them here to share with other people what I have.”

At one point he had six thousand records!

Top Spins is open eleven in the morning to seven in the evening, Monday through Saturday. Joanis is there every day to help customers find the perfect music. Open on some Sundays in the summer. You can find the cool record store at 111 S. Appleton, Appleton, WI, 54911.