PETERBOROUGH -- The closure of Bud's Music Centre in downtown Peterborough marks the end of a Peterborough musical tradition but marks the beginning of something bigger and better, according to co-owners Rod Branscombe and Rob Monahan.
On Oct. 6, Bud's Music Centre will be officially taken over by Long and McQuade, one of the largest music instrument retailers in Canada. For the time being, Long and McQuade will continue to operate out of Bud's Music Centre's location on Aylmer Street. Eventually, Mr. Branscombe says they will move into a bigger location and open more of a "super store."
"Long and McQuade has wanted to move here (to Peterborough) for a while but they didn't want to step on anyone's toes," says Mr. Branscombe.
But the timing seemed right to sell the business. Both Mr. Branscombe and Mr. Monahan have been helping local musicians for 23 years after taking the business over from Bud Monahan, who coincidentally held the business for 23 years before that.
"It was a tough decision. It's the end of an era but at the same time we will be able to supply our customers with more variety because of Long and McQuade's large network," says Mr. Branscombe.
"It's the largest chain of music stores in Canada."
Long and McQuade was launched in the 1950s by Jack Long. He thought he could sell instruments to his friends and set up a small store in Toronto. A few months later, Mr. Long rented out a room to a local drummer named Jack McQuade.
In 1968, the year Bud's Music Centre opened in Peterborough, Long and McQuade began expanding. Currently there are more than 63 Long and McQuade stores across the country, employing 1,200 people.
Bud's Music Centre saw its own success in Peterborough because of its hometown service. Honesty and quality are two things former owner Bud Monahan built the business on.
Mr. Monahan, 83, is pleased to see the direction his company has taken with Long and McQuade's acquisition.
"They have a good reputation and I'm pleased someone reputable will take over the business and carry it on," says Mr. Monahan.
Mr. Branscombe is also pleased Long and McQuade has agreed to keep the current staff, including the music teachers. Customers, he says, have grown to trust them.
Rob Monahan, co-owner and Bud's son, agrees.
"We have good people here and we approached (Long and McQuade) and asked if the employees could stay on and there was no issue at all," says Mr. Monahan.
He's also excited about Long and McQuade's future plans in Peterborough. He says a new larger musical instrument store is needed to supply customers with more variety.
Now with Bud's Music Centre soon behind them, both Mr. Branscombe and Mr. Monahan are looking forward to retirement. Mr. Branscombe says he'd like to do a little more gardening at his Millbrook home and travel with his wife Donna, who is also retiring from Bud's Music Centre.
Mr. Monahan can't wait to spend more time with his wife Barb Monahan, known for her work with the Peterborough Pop Ensemble.
"The biggest thing is the freedom," says Mr. Monahan.
"There was hardly any down time working here."