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Out of this world

Green Bay UFO Museum Gift Shop and Records planning its grand opening Sept. 28

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September 12, 2022

GREEN BAY – Coming to an out-of-this-world location near you, Green Bay UFO (GBUFO) Museum Gift Shop and Records will soon make a landing on Green Bay’s east side.

A grand opening for the store located at 2248 University Ave. (which is housed in the former Guitar Cellar underneath the Blue Gem and next to Taco Bell) is planned for Sept. 28.

“I’m super-excited,” store owner Pierre Jacque said. “I think we’re in the perfect location to get lots of traffic. At the risk of sounding (arrogant), I think it’s going to be so great – I’m super confident. I’ve never heard of a UFO museum and gift shop folding and going under, so I think we’re golden.”

Jacque, a 2005 Notre Dame Academy graduate, said owning and operating GBUFO wasn’t quite what he expected at this point in his life.

“I have a cooking background and was a chef for a while,” he said. “I figured I’d be operating a sandwich shop by now, but then the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that. The food industry is tough right now – it wasn’t a risk I wasn’t willing to take.”

No more Exclusive Company
With the passing of The Exclusive Company’s former owner, James “Mr. G” Giombetti, last November, and the subsequent closing of the store, Jacque said he wanted to fill the void left behind when the iconic store closed.

“It was too much fun to stop,” Jacque, who used to work at the Exclusive Company, said. “Some of the inventory you’ll see in the store, I bought from them when they closed.”

Along with Jacque, people visiting GBUFO Museum Gift Shop and Records will see another familiar face – Tom Smith, the long-time manager of the Exclusive Company.


Tom Smith

Smith, who started working at the Exclusive Company in August 1988, said he thought his 38-year records career was over until Jacque asked him to tag along to GBUFO.

“I had posted on social media (when Exclusive Company closed), ‘Reports of my death as a records store worker are not greatly exaggerated,’” he said. “Before we have our grand opening, I’ll have to post, ‘The reports of my death as a records store worker were greatly exaggerated.’ I thought maybe I’d wait a couple of years and get back into it, but I honestly didn’t know if that would ever happen. I had no idea what my next career move would be.”

Jacque said he’s thrilled to have Smith by his side.

“He brings instant credibility to the new store because he’s been a fixture in the records business for so long,” he said. “I know lots of people, but Tom knows a lot more. He knows what people want and how to get it.”

Smith, who was born in Milwaukee, but has been in the Green Bay area since he was four, said it makes him feel good to follow Jacque.

“Besides the Exclusive Company, I spent another four years working at another records store – the Galaxy of Sound,” he said. “In my 38 years of working in the industry, I’ve built up credit. How could I have lasted this long if I wasn’t doing a good job?”

What you’ll find inside
In addition to records, Jacque said customers will find trading cards, VHS tapes and other “weird” things.

“I’ll have lots of trading cards people didn’t even know existed,” he said. “The cards will have different price points – some are hard to come by. When I’m having a bad day, I’ll take a pack of trading cards and look at them – it turns my mood around.”

Jacque said there’s one other records store in town, on Green Bay’s west side, but he doesn’t look at it as competition.

“I don’t consider us a records store, solely,” he said. “We’re doing something completely different and have lots of variety. We happen to be selling some records, too. Records are great, but you can only sell so many of them.”

Jacque said he wants the store to be accessible to all kinds of people.

“Maybe you only have a couple of bucks to spend and can’t afford to purchase a record,” he said. “Or maybe, you’re buying a record and have a few extra bucks to spend on something else. I decided to make the store as weird as possible.”

Jacque said the space will also have a listening room.

“Records cost lots of money, so I want customers to have the chance to listen to them before they buy them,” he said. “Used records can cost as little as $1, while others go up to $70-80. Many are in the $20 range.”

Jacque said he’s also open to buying “weird stuff and records” from customers.

“If you think you have something a UFO museum might be into – that’s a broad categorization – I’d love to hear about it and see about buying it,” he said. “We can’t buy everything that walks through the door, but we’ll do our best to keep curating weirdness – with everybody’s help.” 

Why listen to records?
With so many ways to listen to music these days, Jacque said for some, records are still appealing.

“It’s the sound, the tactile feel and the ritual of taking a record out of its cardboard holder, putting it on the player and moving the needle,” he said. “People feel connected to records. It’s much like reading an actual book or a newspaper instead of reading stuff online.”

Jacque said it’s also a way for collectors to get something for value.

“I wouldn’t pay a bunch of money for an MP3 or streaming, but to have a 12-inch piece of cardboard with a picture on it, that’s worth the money – at least to me,” he said. 

Unique view from inside 
Instead of having “an ugly piece of wood with shelving” inside the storefront looking out to University, Jacque said he wanted something more unique.

“When I took over the space, it was in the middle of a remodel, but wasn’t finished,” he said. “With wood being so expensive now, I asked myself, ‘What do I have a lot of – damaged records.’ They were either too warped or scratched to sell, or nobody would ever buy them. I took out the heat gun and went for it.”


The Green Bay UFO Museum Gift Shop and Records store will be located at 2248 University Ave. in Green Bay. Green Bay Print Shop Graphic 

Jacque said the heat allowed him to bend the records – which come in all different sizes – into 90-degree angles and create “record art” pieces.

“I hope people will think it’s cool,” he said. 

Hours of operation
Jacque said the store will be open Wednesday through Sunday.

“Tentatively, the hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday,” he said. “They say nothing good happens after midnight, but there’s still cool stuff happening at 11 p.m.”

Jacque said the store will never be open Mondays.

“That’s in observation of Garfield (the cat),” he said. “He doesn’t like Mondays, and neither do we. I think people should do as little as possible on Mondays.”

Jacque said the storefront is still under construction, but you can check for updates on Facebook and Instagram.

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