ST. JOSEPH — Kerstin Peterson is in the midst of bringing her dream to downtown St. Joseph.
Peterson on Saturday will open 4A Song Vinyl and Jukeboxes at 416 State St. The process has been a long one as Peterson – along with her husband, Tim – has been transferring the original store’s inventory from Illinois to Southwest Michigan.
The opportunity to reopen the vinyl and jukebox store in St. Joseph happened within a 10-day period, Peterson said.
“It was something we wanted and we went for it,” she said, upon discovering the store’s owner was selling their spot in downtown St. Joseph. “Our five-year plan turned into a five-week plan.”
On her trips to and from Chicago, Peterson is bringing more than 4,000 records of various genres. About 10 percent of the stock will be new vinyl.
4A Song sells new and used vinyl records, along with CDs and cassettes. They also do sales and rentals of jukeboxes.
Peterson launched the business in September 2016 in Lisle, Ill. – just outside of Chicago.
Having grown up in Aurora, Ill., Peterson worked at a record store in high school and had wanted to do that ever since.
She got her wish in 2016 when she began negotiating to buy an existing record store.
While Peterson was unable to come to an agreement, she said they decided to open one on their own.
The name stems from a bottle of wine that Peterson’s mother bought when they were contemplating opening the store.
“We were tossing around ideas and my mom had gone in for a specific wine,” Peterson said. “They didn’t have it, but they recommended one called For A Song, and she said it was a sign for us to pursue it.”
Turning to St. Joe
Peterson said they were introduced to Southwest Michigan after vacationing in New Buffalo last year.
Next they bought a vacation house in Coloma and are hoping to find a closer residence in St. Joseph or Stevensville.
Her brother, who intends to run the store on weekends when 4A Song opens on a full-time basis, also relocated to Stevensville.
Peterson said her husband still has his full-time job as a project manager for Brookdale Senior Living. He started a jukebox club during their time in Illinois and handles the jukebox refurbishing and turntable repairs for 4A Song.
In addition to renting jukeboxes, 4A Song will offer house calls for jukebox repairs.
“We didn’t know if that part of the business would transfer, but we’ve had several people contact us for service repairs,” Peterson said.
However, 4A Song won’t offer that service until September.
For the first few months, 4A Song will operate out of the front half of the store while the previous store owners of Re-Imagine continue to move their inventory out.
However, Re-Imagine will still continue to sell its items in the process.
4A Song will be open on weekends in July, expand those hours to include Fridays in August, and eventually open Wednesday through Sunday in September.
Once the back is opened up, Peterson said they plan to expand their selections and incorporate store events.
For more information on the store, visit: www.4asongvinyl.rocks.
Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski