Keith Grasso and his fiancée Nicola Haverstick are the owners of the new Island Music Company in La Plata.
LA PLATA, Md. (Oct. 23, 2008)—Island Music Company opened its doors for business Monday, October 6, in the heart of La Plata. The shop is owned by Keith Grasso and his fiancée Nicola Haverstick.
Grasso says the shop specializes in hard-to-find, rare, and vintage guitars, but also offers a full line of new and used musical instruments and accessories.
"We buy, sell, and trade most musical instruments," said Grasso. "We are extremely excited to bring personal service back to the Southern Maryland music scene. With all of the big-box stores, the internet, and even Best Buy getting into the music retail business I think people are longing for that personalized service where the owner knows what instrument you play or always seeing the same faces when you walk in for a pack of strings."
Grasso picked up his first guitar when he was seven and has never been able to put it down since.
"It was a red Gibson LesPaul look-alike," said Grasso. "I'd sit in my room after school playing along with Van Halen albums for hours."
One thing led to another and Grasso found himself studying classical guitar at Towson State University. He then spent 6 years working at Bill's Music House in Catonsville. Grasso said he quickly became Bill's most requested guitar instructor and top salesperson.
"It's been over a year since I left Bill's and I still have old customers and students calling me," said Grasso. "It's incredibly validating that these same customers want to come down to La Plata to see the store."
Grasso also worked at Ralon Music Company in Waldorf.
"Having worked at Ralon [Music Company] and Bill's [Music House] Keith truly believes in family-owned businesses. Not so much for the economic value, but for the sense of community that it builds," said Haverstick.
Grasso said the Island Music Company was born in his home in Solomons. Soon 1 guitar turned into 40 and a profitable hobby grew into a full-time job answering emails, phone calls, packing up shipments and purchasing inventory.
"Next thing you know, the business took over our home and our time," said Haverstick. "We have been extremely successful with our brand of service and we look forward to growing into a staple of the Southern Maryland musical scene. Island Music is not only a place to buy or sell musical instruments. We hope to be a place for customers to hang out and meet other local musicians."
Island Music Company is located at 600 Charles Street in La Plata. You can check them out on the web at
or give them a call at 410-394-9140.