Ever since Kyle Koepcke closed his electronics store in 2012, islanders have been asking him to bring it back.
“I finally found the perfect spot for it,” said Koepcke, who purchased the Orcas Book Exchange in March and renamed it VidTekk. “You asked for it so here it is. Please shop here and support us.”
After buying the business (located next to the Village Stop) from Don Yerly, who started it seven years ago, Koepcke gave the interior an overhaul with the help of his girlfriend Erika Murray and friends Rob Bailey and Jon Welch.
VidTekk still has thousands of video rentals (new releases each week) and used books, but Koepcke has added consumer electronics, television installation, DVDs for sale and Magic: The Gathering cards. He also outsources computer repair to experts on the island and gives daily discounts on select items.
“We’re like a RadioShack but not as expensive,” he said. “I sold eight televisions this past month. We aren’t cheaper than Walmart or Costco but we do compete with them. People can come to one place for all their needs. They don’t need to go off-island. Plus we have cool toys just like Don did.”
Coming next month is a 1980s Space Invaders pinball machine for customers to enjoy.
In addition to the standard fare of phone chargers, batteries, flash drives and cameras, VidTekk will soon have items like drones and virtual reality headsets. Koepkce can also special order just about any item, and get it to Orcas quickly. Starting in July, he will be an authorized cell phone dealer for AT&T and Cricket and can add minutes to any cell.
For the first part of his career, Koepkce was an EMS specialist and instructor in Nevada. He then earned a computer certification from Columbia College of Business in Oregon and worked in the electronics field for years. After moving to Orcas, he managed the RadioShack in town and later opened Eastsound Electronics. Koepkce closed the business to move to California, but recently returned to Orcas.
His favorite part of running a retail business is interacting with customers.
“I love getting people what they need. And I like being in the public eye,” said Koepkce.