Location: 215 N. Coast Hwy, O-side
Owner/Mgr.: Jason Houk
Number of storefronts: 1
Date Opened: April 28, 2006
Square footage: 2,000
As a skateboarder, Jason Houk says he has always wanted to start his own brand, so he began working at a local shop to study the ins and outs of the industry. Fast forward to 2004, when Houk—who had recently moved to Oceanside, California—noticed a need for a core specialty skate retail location in his neighborhood. It was then that he knew the timing was right to embark on his own business venture.
“There was not one shop that was all about skateboarding and just skateboarding,” he says. “Being on the coast, every surf shop has skateboards and every skate shop had some surf stuff in it that just didn't fit. I had to change that!”
Building on years of shop knowledge, Houk pulled together a diverse blend of up-and-coming and heritage skate brands, ranging from DGK to Puma and Flying Coffin, and Grandeur began to take shape. The Oceanside location is a perfect fit for the shop environment Houk has created, and the shop has steadily built its following to reach outside the neighborhood boundaries to all areas of San Diego.
Houk shared some of the details behind Grandeur when we stopped by the shop recently to catch up with him.
Photos: Allen Malone
What were you doing before running this business?
Skateboarding, painting the freeways, and making it snow in the summer time.
I have worked at more then one shop and spent a lot of time in other shops. I knew I was ready to start one of my own. I had been living in Oceanside for about two years before I opened the shop and Oceanside is the best. It's not full of rich stuck up people and it is HOOD! I love it and the people out here are real. O-side or no side!
How would you describe your shop? What makes it unique? What do you think you're best known for?
Grandeur is unique because you can find hard to get brands that other spots don't have and small skater-owned brands that are unique in there own way. I would say the shop is best known for smelling like weed when you come down. [Laughs]
If so, what percentage of your business is online vs. Brick and Mortar?
All brick and mortar. The online will be up here real soon: Thegrandeur.com
Are your private label sales a significant percentage of your business? If so, what percentage?
We have all kinds of Grandeur stuff. Grandeur is not a brand though, it's a shop. We have shops call to get Grandeur as a brand all the time. I just can’t do it. I think it is super corny when a shop tries to sell there shop stuff as a brand. I don't know the exact percentage of sales, but we sell a lot of it and people love to support a real shop.
>Describe your typical customer.
I would say the customer base here is not normal to most other shops. We have your steezy streetwear guys, sneaker and Jordan collectors, all types of skaters, and the dudes that come in to buy spray paint to catch a tag in the alley behind the shop.
The product mix here is unique all on its own. We have brands you have heard of and a lot more that you haven't. For streetwear, we have The Hundreds, Blackscale, and others like CLSC and Flying Coffin. For shoes we have HUF and Dekline but we also have Fila, Puma, and Diadora, which you wouldn't find in your typical skate shop. For hard goods we do Girl, Chocolate, and DGK but we also have PALACE, Send Help, and Quantum.
What percentage of your inventory is dedicated to…
Men's Apparel 35%
Women's/Juniors Apparel 0%
What brands have you carried the longest?
DGK, Rebel 8, Flying Coffin
Are there any brands or programs that really stand out?
QUANTUMGOODS. It's a new hardware brand that is just classic and clean.
What new brands are gaining traction for you?
QUANTUM, PALACE, and QUIET LIFE
What are the standout events that you host or programs that you run for consumers?
I would have to say the Black Friday sale we do every year. It gets bigger and bigger every year. Last year we had kids camped out front of the shop for it.
Last specific moment that really made you love your job?
I just got done smoking a blunt in the back with some homies. That would never happen at a regular job or even any of the other shops I worked at.
Do you sponsor a shop team? Who are some of your standouts?
GRANDEUR has the best team! I love my dudes! I got to give it to my boy Dane Vaughn. Dude kills it.