KENT — With space running out at its South Water Street location, Woodsy’s Music recently expanded operations and has opened a second Kent location just around the corner on East Main Street.
Although on different streets, customers can access both locations from the Erie Street parking area.
“We opened in ’72, and we moved probably in ’84 [to the South Water Street store],” Woodsy’s Music owner Paul Braden said. “I said, ‘We’ll never need more space.’ ”
Now, he has moved much of the school band and orchestra side of the music store’s operation over to the East Main Street store, along with keyboard instruments.
“It’s just more convenient for the customer,” he said of the location. “We have a really diverse inventory — one of the best in the state. We have people from Buffalo and Columbus coming here.”
In the future, he said Woodsy’s may add 147 S. Water St., two doors down from the old store, as a retail store, as well.
The new space features many custom-built cases where Woodsy’s has displayed brass and woodwind instruments, as well as accessories, such as mouthpieces, saxophone necks and reeds for instruments.
“We’ve gotten a lot of nice comments about the way the place was designed and looks,” said Braden. “This just really gives us the opportunity to spread things out, and it’s much more welcoming to the customers.”
Braden said the new Woodsy’s location is “about 90 percent complete.” There are still more custom cabinets to add for sheet music and other items.
Woodsy’s had gutted the inside of the space before moving in, he added.
“This building was built back in the day to be a six-story building,” he said, adding it was designed as a bank. “We did lots of smashing and bashing. It took over a year for us to remodel this place.”
The area that was once designed for bank tellers is now the service counter, he said.
In addition to the wide-open store and custom built displays, the new store also includes a “state-of-the-art” repair center, as well as practice areas.
“It’s gonna allow us to just be more timely with our repairs and spread things out a bit,” he said of the repair center.
The practice rooms should help customers get more comfortable with instruments before purchasing them, he added.
“We have two demo rooms that have been really nice and important,” he said. “When you try out something, you have a private room to try those things.”
Braden also said Woodsy’s can use the basement for storage and more studios as they’re needed.
In addition to the keyboard instruments, brass and woodwinds, there is an alcove of violins, cellos and other string instruments for students opting for orchestra rather than band.
Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, firstname.lastname@example.org or @bobgaetjens_rpc.