“It all started with the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and from that moment on I was hooked. I was 10 years old then and my love for rock music has never looked back.” Alan St. Croix, a self-taught musician and storeowner of Pepperell Music Center, has always drifted towards owning his own business.
For the past seven years, he has seen what began as a dream, evolve into a popular and successful music store.
“I decided to pursue opening my own business in Pepperell because I felt there was a need for it in the community considering the success of the surrounding schools’ music programs,” said Alan St. Croix.
With past work experience in his own dry wall business, a sporting goods store, and as a photographer, St. Croix has formerly made his own mark as an independent business owner, but all the while, kept the idea of running his own music business in the back of his mind.
When he opened the Pepperell Music Center in September of 2006, the store had very minimal resources and a very small lesson program, but as word of it spread, the company grew exponentially.
“Soon after opening, I had to hire four additional instructors because of how much interest there was and today, with 10 employees and over 200 students who take lessons weekly, the growth is more than I could’ve ever anticipated,” St. Croix said.
Despite the company’s growth over the past seven years into what it has become today, St. Croix explained the difficulties he faced when first opening the Pepperell Music Center.
“Because of larger music chains like Guitar Center, some manufacturers were less willing, or even refused to sell their inventory to smaller family owned music stores like my own because we buy their products in smaller quantities, whereas larger businesses buy their instruments in bulk.”
For the past seven years up to today, Pepperell Music Center has found most of its success in its lesson programs. “We started out with only four students and one teacher, but today, we see over 200 students walk through these doors a week, and it is wonderful to see the success it has become,” St. Croix said.
According to the Pepperell Music Center’s website, they offer lessons in piano, most woodwind and brass instruments, drums, bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitar, vocals, and even harp.
Another thing that the Pepperell Music Center has become known for is their concerts, which showcase live talent from local bands, more nationally accredited acts, and even the instructors and students themselves. “It is wonderful because the concerts give people who attend the opportunity to see local talent first hand, and be a part of a fun and interactive experience,” said St. Croix.
The next concert at the Pepperell Music Center will be on April 4 at 8:00 p.m. featuring acclaimed guitarist and singer Charlie Ferren (tickets $10.00 each).
With the success of the store currently, St. Croix wishes to maintain the formula which has helped his business flourish, while expanding its inventory and size.
“Keeping it local means that people get to talk directly to the owner and are a part of a more open and personable environment,” St. Croix said. “Regardless of the success of my store in the future, that family centered dynamic is something I never want to sacrifice, as I feel it is what makes the Pepperell Music Center the special place it is.”
The Pepperell Music Center is located at 4 Hotel Place in Pepperell MA, and can be reached by phone at 978-433-8727, or on the web at http://www.pepperellmusiccenter.com/.