MASSILLON – John Soptelean's love of music started around the age of 12.
During those early days, he began learning guitar chords and later took lessons. Over the years, he's worked at and operated multiple music stores focusing mainly on sales and instrument repair.
His Johnny's Music Shoppe recently opened on the east side of Massillon.
"I'm excited to be back at it, and have my name on it," said Soptelean of his new business at 2492 Lincoln Way E, which is in the Oak Park Plaza. "This (place) is the perfect fit for my needs."
Instrument repair is the lifeblood of the business, which is tucked within an 1,800-square-foot spot next to Agavero Bar & Grill, according to Soptelean.
"Repair is pretty much my bread and butter," he said. "We do touch-ups to full (rebuilds of instruments), brass and wood base."
Soptelean's shop — once utilized as an eye glasses sales center and workshop — also offers multiple new and used musical instruments for sale, such as acoustic and electric guitars, drums, mandolins, amplifiers, saxophones, flutes and more. Guitar and high school band instrument lessons are also available.
Stark County resident Eric Syx was taking a guitar lesson at the shop Thursday morning. He gave a thumbs-up to the locale.
"It's fantastic; pretty sweet here," he said.
Longtime friendship, business partnership
On Christmas Eve, The Music Shoppe on Federal Avenue NE had its final day in business. Soptelean was a longtime business partner with owner Bob Jones, who died in October.
Jones and Soptelean were childhood friends who had worked in the music industry together for at least the last decade.
In April 2020, the duo relocated The Music Shoppe from its Erie Street N locale to Federal Avenue. Jones was a maestro at sound system instillation, while Soptelean mastered the sales and service side.
Jones' death prompted Soptelean to reopen on his own. Soptelean's wife, Cali, offers substantial part-time assistance.
"She's the CFO (chief financial officer)," Soptelean said.
Down the road, Soptelean said, he wants to partner with a sound system professional to offer installation and service to customers.
Auction planned for remaining Music Shoppe stock
Kiko Auctioneers is hosting a pair of upcoming online-only auctions to help clear out instruments, tools and other merchandise from The Music Shoppe.
The first auction is scheduled at 10 a.m. Jan. 26. The second is set for 11 a.m. Feb. 1.
Those interested in bidding online for music instruments, guitars, speakers and other merchandise can visit www.kikoauctions.com/upcoming/details/12704 for details.
Reach Steven at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @sgrazierINDE
This article originally appeared on The Independent: Johnny's Music Shoppe now open on Lincoln Way E in Massillon.