John Rocchetta has found success in life through his business, The Beat Goes On. As it continues to grow, his kids still roll their eyes at him.
“I drive my kids nuts,” said Rocchetta laughingly. “We’re in the car, and something comes on, and I’ll just crank it”.
And hell, yes the music was live and loud on Aug. 18, when the amalgamation of two The Beat Goes On stores officially became one.
Located at 341 Weber St. N., the new 2,500 square-foot video and music store replaces and expands on the two previous Waterloo Region stores that were housed on King Street in Waterloo and Highland Road in Kitchener.
While Rocchetta admitted that it is a shame he will be losing a small customer base that cannot make their way to Waterloo for the new store, he said he has no other regrets — the new location has close to 50 per cent more space than the two previous locations combined, which allows for 50 per cent more product.
“We’re making sure we’re moving forward and keeping up with changes in the marketplace,” Rocchetta said, “t o stay relevant, stay current”.
Along with the possibility of hosting live shows a few days a week that can potentially spill out into the front lot via the large garage door to his new store, Rocchetta acknowledged that the sustainability of The Beat Goes On is achieved through old-school social experiences and ideals within his stores.
“We really cater to the audiophile or the movie aficionado who wants to just browse or hang out and talk shop and listen to music,” said Rocchetta. “If I could put a bar in the store, and stools, and hangout, I would, but unfortunately we’re not there yet.”
The new location will also cater to the surge in LP popularity, something Rocchetta said is directly related to the growth in digital music. Rocchetta hopes to increase his vinyl selection by five times in the new store and to increase the selection of used records, especially. He admitted it is increasingly difficult to find quality used LP’s since they cannot be repaired like a CD or DVD. And while Rocchetta acknowledged that his target market for vinyl is between 29 – 65 years of age, he is surprised by the amount of young people interested in one of music’s most purest forms.
“There is more [youth interest] than I actually thought there would be,” said Rocchetta. “It’s good to see”.
With the flagship store originating in Kitchener, and with a total of nine The Beat Goes On locations in southern Ontario, 48-year-old Rocchetta has been growing his business since he was twenty and expects that in a short period of time, the online portion of his business will become more lucrative than his brick-and-mortar locations.
Rocchetta already has three full-time employees solely managing online orders and sales, servicing customers from all over North America.
“I’m not in the stores as much as I used to be,” said Rocchetta.
So even though Rocchetta can only pine for those pure moments when he witnesses a father-son duo debate the wisdom of an album in his store on a Saturday afternoon, he is still upbeat.
“I’m hoping to do that one day with my kid,” he said.