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


Highlights

Owner Kathi Kretzer-Sayler said she’s ready to retire — and play more piano

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.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Publix boycott movement forces tough decisions
Publix boycott movement forces tough decisions

Becky Abel has been a loyal Publix shopper since moving to Florida as a teenager in 1971. But the Lakeland resident says she has decided she will now do her shopping elsewhere.  That action is her response to recent news reports that Publix, the family of its founder and current and past executives have donated $670,000 over the past three years...
Noel Martinez: Why work, mental health issues drive Leadership summit
Noel Martinez: Why work, mental health issues drive Leadership summit

Leadership Palm Beach County celebrates its 35th year with 1,700 alumni from elected leaders to CEOs, but a June 15 summit led by executive director Noel Martinez isn’t so much about looking back. It aims at new starts, a kind of civic crowdsourcing to solve knotty problems dominating too many headlines. Mental health in the workplace. Ex-offenders...
JUST IN: Congressmen call on feds to suspend Brightline bonds
JUST IN: Congressmen call on feds to suspend Brightline bonds

Days after Brightline completed the first leg of its passenger train service, the battle continued to grow over whether the company should be allowed to use federally approved tax-exempt bonds to finance its extension north to Orlando. Brightline carried its first paying passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami on Saturday — marking the completion...
Scripps Florida researchers win $3.6 million NIH grant to study autism
Scripps Florida researchers win $3.6 million NIH grant to study autism

JUPITER -- Scripps Florida researcher Gavin Rumbaugh won a five-year, $3.6 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to continue studies of abnormal brain circuitry in autism, the nonprofit lab said Tuesday. The grant builds on Rumbaugh’s previous work, research that found a crucial period in brain development during...
Report: This is the hottest (little-known) career in America right now
Report: This is the hottest (little-known) career in America right now

The hottest job in America may be one you've never heard of, but demand for people who can fulfill the roll is very high – as is its starting pay. If you're qualified to be a data scientist, according to Bloomberg, you may find companies fighting for your services. Andrew Gardner, a senior machine learning manager in Atlanta at Symantec...
More Stories