December 5, 2023
Dec 5, 2023
Citizen Vinyl, North Carolina’s first vinyl record pressing plant, is celebrating its second year in production, along with the successful growth of its manufacturing capacity. The company’s transformative approach to manufacturing is helping expand access to high-quality vinyl records for musicians, record labels and distributors – in an era where demand for vinyl is outpacing production capacity across the country.
“Despite opening up in the midst of the pandemic in October 2020, and all of the challenges it presented, I’m very proud that our team here at Citizen Vinyl has established a well-deserved reputation in the vinyl industry for providing both exceptional customer service and very high quality records for our clients,” founder and CEO Gar Ragland said. “This is exactly what we set out to accomplish, and I’m delighted that we continue to deliver on that with every project we press here.”
Citizen Vinyl installed its first pressing machine on Oct. 5, 2020 and started pressing records in December that same year.
The factory has since added two additional presses, and the manufacturing team has grown from two employees to 32. In 2021, Citizen Vinyl pressed 272,354 records. In 2022, the company has already beat out the previous year – the latest count stands at 292,329.
“Moving forward, we’re committed to continuing to innovate and enhance our operations, and now have the opportunity to consider growing our pressing capabilities in the future,” Ragland said.
As the company celebrates its second anniversary, the manufacturing team is looking towards the future, exploring ways to continue pushing the needle forward. One upgrade the factory is planning for is a new grinding machine, expected to arrive in November. The machine grinds flash, the unused trimmings removed from a fresh-pressed vinyl, so it can be reused.
“We really hate throwing anything away,” production manager Seth Alder said.
Alder was the factory’s first hire. He’s since seen the production team grow to 32 as well as the addition of two pressing machines.
“I’m most proud of my team. They really wants to be here and care about the work that they’re doing. That translates into quality on the back end,” Alder said.