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Family Owned


As we celebrate our 86th anniversary, we're taking some time to reflect on our history and what it means to us. Since we opened in 1931, Ted Brown Music has stayed family-owned. We believe it's a big part of our longevity, and like to think it's part of why our amazing customers keep coming back.

Here are a few reasons why family-owned businesses tend to be great:

We care about our community

This is Ted Brown, founder of Ted Brown Music.

Ted Brown, the Founder of Ted Brown Music

Ted was a man who understood the value of sharing music with the community. His many friends and large network enabled him to start a music store with roots intact. Here's our first location, in downtown Tacoma:

The Original Location of Ted Brown Music

The iconic downtown Tacoma store sold mainly pianos and sheet music, then - as business grew - added band instruments. During World War II (as metal was used to support the war effort), the store diversified and sold model planes and watches. Post-war, the store expanded to include TV sets, stereos and records.

1940's Newspaper Add

This is Ted's son Warren Brown (who succeeded him as company president).

Warren Brown in the 1970's

Warren brought a love of bringing music to local schools. Like his father, Warren was a tireless networker, and developed a lot of the longstanding relationships with music educators that continue today.

A group of educators

Today, Ted Brown Music works with school districts across the entire state of Washington, with eight full-time Educational Services representatives working directly with school music directors and students.

Ted Brown Music Ed Reps at the WMEA Conference

To this day, Ted Brown Music is proud to serve our local communities. Our 501c3 nonprofit Ted Brown Music Outreach is dedicated to helping kids play music. Over 1000 musical instruments have been donated to kids who could not afford to play in school band.

Recipients of Instruments From the Ted Brown Music Outreach Program

Ted Brown Music Outreach also organizes summer music programs to help jumpstart a new generation of musicians. Our popular summer rock school, Live It OutLoud, helps local kids put together rock bands who enrich the local music scene.

There's a culture where employees are heard

Although the company has grown into six locations, each one lives by the Ted Brown mission: help everyone play music. We're located across the state, from Tacoma to Richland.

The Six Ted Brown Music Storefronts

Here are Whitney Grisaffi and Stephanie Howe, the current president and vice president of Ted Brown Music. Whitney and Stephanie have led our company as it continues to grow into more markets across the state.

President Whitney Grisaffi and Vice President Stephanie Howe

Although our stores reach from one side of the state to the other, the family traditions and values are part of every store. Whitney and Stephanie do this by encouraging the management team to collaborate, take part in decision making, and voice opinions.

"Stephanie and I are very collaborative with our management staff," Whitney says. "My way isn't necessarily always the best way, which is why I'm thankful for the team we have."

We specialize in customer service

As a family-owned business, we value the relationships we've developed as employees over the years - so we value the relationships we have with you. Family-owned businesses are much less likely to see customers as numbers on a spreadsheet, and much more likely to see them as real people, with their own wants, needs and stories to tell.

Here's Garrison Grisaffi (son of Whitney Grisaffi), the newest generation to join the Ted Brown Music management team:

Garrison Grisaffi

Garrison started managing the Puyallup location in 2017, and looks to carry on the family-minded tradition and values of Ted Brown Music in his store.

"As a family-run business, we always want to treat our customers like part of our family," Garrison says. "If you were dealing with a family member over someone you don't care to know, you always want to go above and beyond for them to make sure that they are happy and taken care of. That's our specialty. We try to see everything we do from the eyes of that customer."

Ted Brown Music, Past to Present

Ted Brown Music is proud to be a part of your musical life for 86 years, and look forward to at least 86 more, helping you and your family make music. It's our passion!

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