Tag Archives: The Music Store

The Music Store is closing, but music is not leaving the village

19 Sep

When The Music Store in the Village of Webster closes later this week, it doesn’t mean that music services will be leaving town … at least not for very long.  

John Bucci, owner of The Music Store, will be closing his doors for the last time this Thursday, Sept. 23. After 32 years running his East Main Street shop, working 10-hour days, six days a week, John has decided to move on to other challenges. (Click here to read more about John and his decision to close the shop.) 

But have no fear, music lovers, village music services will not be leaving entirely.  

Bob Storey, The Music Store’s longtime master repair technician, will be moving into the location, expanding from his 400-square-foot “office” in the building’s basement into the 3,000 square-foot storefront. Given all that extra space, he’s thinking about expanding his repair services beyond stringed instruments, and offer limited retail, including repair parts and accessories.

And even more exciting, very tentative plans are in the works to perhaps turn the front of the storefront into a coffee shop!

When Bob learned about John’s plans to close his business, it didn’t take him long to realize what he had to do.

“When John told us he was closing the store, it was a complete surprise,” he remembered. “But my brain went into overdrive. What are we going to do? Where are we going to get strings, where are we going to get picks? Where we gonna get straps?”

Then, he thought, “Wait a minute. Step up to the plate. Make it happen.” 

Like the hundreds of musicians young and old who have patronized The Music Store for decades, Bob knew how important it is to have a music store presence in the village. He knew that losing The Music Store would create a huge hole in the village music scene.

He said,

This town needs music. John can’t do it. He’s getting to a point where he’s got too much else in his life and it’s taking too much out of him…. So the cage door just opens up and he walks right out. I told him I want him to be able to pull the plug on the way out and I’ll plug it right back in after you leave. 

I want to keep music in this town. It’s too important. With all the weirdness and crap that goes on in our everyday lives, music is the one beautiful thing. We don’t even realize how important it is. It’s ubiquitous but we take it for granted. I want that to stay here.  

Bob hopes to have his new repair shop up and running by Oct. 1. If plans for the coffee shop can be worked out, he’d like to get that operating by the end of October.  

This is exciting news for the Village of Webster, but it’s still sad to see The Music Store closing. Long-time patrons are still having trouble coming to grips with the news. But I think we’re all happy to see that John is leaving on his own terms, not driven out by slow sales or the pandemic, and we wish him the best in his new endeavors.

I’m not a musician myself, so I’ve never done a whole lot of shopping there (except for gifts for my musician son). But I will especially miss seeing the beautiful decorations John put in his front window every Christmas: the shiny instruments and the model train chugging around the tracks, which reminded me of my childhood and certainly made many a memory for today’s children.

There’s still some time to catch some really good deals this week. Check out The Music Store Facebook page for details on the latest specials. And make sure to stop in this week to shake John’s hand and thank him for years of great service, great products, friendly atmosphere and support of all the musicians in our community.

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The Music Store is closing

26 Aug
The Music Store is located at 18 East Main St., Webster

After 32 years anchoring the Village of Webster’s East Main Street business scene, The Music Store is closing. 

Owner John Bucci announced the news on his Facebook page last weekend. Every day since, he’s been fielding comments and customers who are surprised and saddened by the news. But everyone can take some consolation from the fact that neither Covid nor slow sales has driven John’s decision. Instead, he said, “It’s time, just plain and simple.” 

“It’s hard to do retail all these years,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about it, thinking of an exit plan, which means I was halfway out the door anyway.”

“I’m going out on my terms.” 

John doesn’t know yet what life has in store for him next, but he definitely wants to move on from the day-to-day grind of retail. One thing he’s especially looking forward to is being “excited about playing my instruments again.” 

The enjoyment part gets burned out from the business part. I’m looking forward to wanting to pick up my instruments again. To go downstairs and an hour and a half goes by, practicing, playing for enjoyment, getting my chops back im looking forward to that inspiration again.

I’m surrounded by (music) every day, 12 hours a day, so to continue to go home and play for two hours is just an extension of the job. That’s not enjoyable.  

He does know that he won’t be selling the business; it would be too difficult to find someone to buy into all the inventory and long hours. That means everything has to go, and he’s already started marking prices down. Students who need to rent an instrument for school will find some especially good deals. 

“All those rental instruments have to go,” John said, and he has a lot of them. Parents will be able to pick one up for less than what they would have paid for a year-long rental.    

Like the long-time customers who are stopping by to pay their respects, John has fond memories from his history in the village. Like when the village held its first White Christmas celebration many years ago. 

“We had a huge snowstorm…I built a snowman out front, I used a guitar speaker for a hat. That seems like it happened last year.”

When pressed about how it feels to have been such an integral part of the Village business scene for so long, John was at a loss for words. On his Facebook page, however, customers and friends are having no problem expressing exactly what his store has meant for Webster:

  • “John is hands down one of the nicest and honest people I have ever dealt with. He and his store will be greatly missed.”
  • “John, you have put your heart and soul into the Music Store. You have touched so many people with your passion for music.”
  • You met all of our kids’ musical needs from preschool through senior year.”
  • “The store has been a musical cornerstone of mine for the better part of 30 years.” 
  • “John has been great to work with and I will treasure the guitars I bought there as well as his friendly support.” 

But perhaps this comment sums it up best: 

  • “This is one of the only cool places left in the area.”  

Thank you for being such an integral part of the Village of Webster family for so long, John. We will miss you , but we all wish you the best in the next chapter of your life.

The Music Store is located at 18 E. Main St. in the Village of Webster. Stop by, say hi to John and get some great deals.

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The village is open for business!

13 Jun

Things are far from being back to normal, but our village businesses are showing some signs of life.

Especially now that we have reached Phase III, village businesses are beginning to open their doors to retail sales again. What’s different is that staff members will be wearing masks (and customers should be as well), and there might be one-way tape marks on the floor and in front of the registers encouraging proper social distancing.

However, what hasn’t changed is that the same friendly owners and staff members will be there to welcome you, and they’ll be very happy to see you.

Frankly, I’m relieved to see that most of our village businesses were able to weather the pandemic. The one notable exception is The Pickled Paintbrush, which closed for good about a month ago. (But even that unfortunate news has a happy upside, which I’ll mention later.)

You, the loyal customers, are the main reason these businesses are still here. John Bucci, owner of The Music Store, 18 E. Main St., was blown away by the support his shop received while he was closed, making purchases via email, phone calls or online.

John Music Shop

John Bucci behind the counter at The Music Store

“Everybody was just being amazing,” he said. “People who needed a set of guitar strings, buying three or four, saying ‘We gotta keep you here, I gotta do what I can.’ Whatever they wanted, if I was even close to what they needed they were fine.”

He’s been in business for 31 years, he added, and always wondered “Does it matter? Then to hear the phone calls and the people going ‘Yeah, we got to keep you in business.'”

I also stopped by Nest Things, 11 E. Main, where owner Gail Maier took a few minutes to show me the beautiful garden she’s created behind her shop. Stop by for yourself and she’s be happy to give you a tour.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 East Main, one of Webster’s newest shops, is also back in business after staying busy helping craft thousands of face masks for healthcare workers and social agencies.

Chandeliers and Performance Hobbies are also up and running again, and I’ve seen people popping in and out of The North Bee on North Ave.

But probably the most exciting news comes from LaLa of Webster, at 38 E. Main. After only a little more than a year and a half in business, LaLa not only weathered the storm, but is expanding.

Owner Lisa Schlonski will be expanding into the former Pickled Paintbrush space, which is right next door to her current shop. It will more than double the floor space she already has, including adding a third floor, which will become a clothing boutique.

Lisa hopes to finish renovations in just a few weeks, so watch for notice of a grand reopening party.

Plus, of course, the restaurants are opening up. I saw some brand new, beautiful patio seating at The Filling Station, and Barry’s outdoor patio is getting so busy that they’re taking reservations.

So let’s keep supporting our local businesses and show them how much we appreciate them.

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