Another Family Business Profile from FBE…
In 1927, a Pennsylvania music lover bought a very elegant, wooden Victrola from Cooper Music Company, located then in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Three generations later, a descendant of that same purchaser called Cooper Music in Atlanta, Georgia to see if they would be interested in knowing about it. The new owner of the vintage Victrola had noticed the company name engraved on a metal label inside the cabinet and wondered if they were still around. Not only was Blake Cooper, the company’s president, interested in knowing about it, he decided to buy it back. Today, it sits in one of the showrooms at Cooper Music’s 10,000 square foot facility in North Atlanta.
Music Still Makes The World Go Round
Located on “Piano Row” in northeast Atlanta, Cooper Music is one of the region’s largest music retailers. The company retails most of the major piano lines and also offers a piano rental plan, restoration, music lessons and special programs that benefit seniors. “Music… makes life worth living for many people,” says Blake Cooper, whose company donates pianos and organs to area churches and retirement homes each year. His sister, Jolie, also works in the business and their parents still come in from time with advice and support.
Blake Cooper is following his father’s footsteps, even if those footsteps were not always a walk in the park for the younger Blake, who admits the transition from father to son had its moments. The thread, however, from one generation to the next has been a heartfelt love and passion for what they do. Blake (once a rock musician in his 20’s) believes music is good for just about everything, from personal development to world peace, a perspective that could very well have had its roots early in the family business history.
Secret To Success:
Maintaining a legacy and embracing change
In 2006, Cooper Music will celebrate a century of business. Fourth-generation owners, Blake and his siblings, understand the significance and responsibilities of being successors to a family-owned company that has lasted that long. Blake points to a history wall in Cooper Music’s showroom (he calls it the “trust wall”) as evidence that the business has earned the trust of its customers and the success it enjoys today.
Over the years, the industry and the company have seen a lot of changes. Originally, Jonathan Cooper built and sold pump organs. Later, as markets and products changed, other products and services were added. The company survived all of the challenges of time and trends. In the final analysis, the family’s solid reputation and genuine concern for every customer generated a very stable, referral-based business that allowed each succeeding generation to embrace those changes and challenges, adapt, grow and prosper.
Check out their web site at http://www.cooperpiano.com/
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