End of an era: Kretzer Piano closing after 33 years in business

6:23 p.m Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 Business
Allen Eyestone
Kathi Kretzer-Sayler, founder and owner of Kretzer Piano Co. for Monday Meeting

After 33 years in business, Kretzer Piano owner Kathi Kretzer-Sayler said it’s time for her to stop selling music and start savoring it instead.

Kretzer Piano, at 240 W. Indiantown Road in Jupiter, will close its doors within 60 days. A liquidation sale is set for Feb. 8-11, Kretzer-Sayler said Tuesday.

The piano store’s shutdown marks an end of an era for one of Palm Beach County’s longest-running businesses, a retailer that demonstrated the lasting power of music.

For Kretzer-Sayler, it was time spent helping families select the right piano for a child, or working with an adult to find a piano that would ignite a hobby or continue a passion.

But times change and so do leisure habits. Kretzer-Sayler said the last 20 to 30 years have seen a decline in piano interest.

“It’s iPads and kids doing techy things,” she said. “Parents get busy, and if children take piano lessons you have to stay on them a bit. Such is life, but the days of gathering around the piano and singing are kind of gone.”

“But not in my household,” she quickly added. “We still do that.”

Indeed, Kretzer’s retirement plan consists of more piano playing, spending time with family and friends, and traveling with her husband, attorney Lee Sayler. With her 65th birthday nearing in March, Kretzer-Sayler said she has more than enough to keep her busy.

“I’ve loved the people and the customers, but I don’t want to have to show up at work. I want to relax and enjoy life,” Kretzer-Sayler said.

Kretzer Piano began in West Palm Beach in 1985, then moved to Jupiter nine years ago, near the growing upscale communities of north Palm Beach County as well as Kretzer-Sayler’s Tequesta home.

Despite industry challenges, Kretzer said the business has remained strong. “I’m retiring on a high note,” she quipped.

She credits the broad line of pianos she carries, including Yamaha pianos featuring not only vertical and grand pianos, but also digital pianos and the latest in “player pianos,” the ENSPIRE Disklavier piano.

Kretzer-Sayler said interested piano buyers may make an appointment for a private viewing of the pianos on Feb. 8 or Feb. 9. The public liquidation will take place on Feb. 10 and Feb. 11. If there are any pianos left after that (and Kretzer-Sayler said she has more than 100 new and used for sale), the sales will continue until the inventory is gone.

Kretzer-Sayler’s presence amid the local cultural scene will remain, however.

She said she’ll continue with her Kretzer Piano Music Foundation, which awards scholarships for music lessons to poor children. She’ll also continue her Kretzer Kids group of gifted young players, who perform at nursing homes, hospitals and community events.