Candyman Strings & Things is about community. Even though the bottom line
is to sell music products for profit, we maintain a market strategy that
focuses on outreach such as:
- Education programs in our store and throughout the community.
that cater to the introduction of music making
to non-music makers.
- Consistent work in the community with the Santa Fe Chamber of
- Contributions to vast non-profit organizations, schools and rehabilitation facilities
in Santa Fe, New Mexico in a beautiful landmark building, The Candyman Strings & Things is known as Santa Fe’s Community
Music Center! The
store boasts attractive showrooms, a repair department, a band and orchestra
instrument rental and sales counter, comfortable and inviting teaching and
ensemble studios, and a coffee shop and lounge. The Candyman also provides
comprehensive services such as commercial installation and institutional audio
Actual Customer Comment: "Great
Candyman Strings & Things is owned by Rand and Cindy Cook, a husband and
wife partnership. Rand first visited The Candyman
when he was 3 years old when his sister bought him a jaw harp, his first
instrument. Twenty years later, he became The Candyman’s musical instrument
department manager and ultimately the General Store Manager of the expanded
store to include custom installation, recorded media and consumer electronics,
until the 2009 death of his mentor and The Candyman Music & Electronics
founder, Matthew Schwartzman. Soon after, Rand and Cindy purchased the
were awarded a $25,000 EDPPlus grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
(FHLB Dallas) and an SBA loan from Century Bank, (see this link for a news
article www.santafe.com/articles/santa-fe-music-store-gets-boost-from-economic-development-grant). Since then, we’ve become the
‘poster child’ for this program, appearing in ads and articles in New Mexico and
nationally, advocating SBA programs and excellence in business success. We were
also featured as a success story in FHLB’s annual report.
applied the grant in smart ways to expand our services and customer base. We
expanded the store from 5,600 square feet to its current 10,000 square feet,
and narrowed the store’s focus to music, music education, and commercial
installation. Even so, we’ve managed to keep a balance of the store’s original
roots while expanding our services. We’ve opened our doors to a wider community
and have instituted many additional programs to create a new and unique brand
in the community. One
example is successfully launching a music education program that offers several
private lesson opportunities, group ensemble learning opportunities, workshops,
seasonal Rock School classes and Summer Rock Camps.
Actual Customer Comment:
"YOU ARE DOING A
FANTASTIC JOB and turning The Candyman into a community of musicians!!! Thank
you for continuing and expanding the tradition at The Candyman, of
Our motto is
“Santa Fe’s Community Music Center” and
we don’t just say it, we live it. We have a beautiful lounge and coffee shop
where at any given time you can find musicians sitting and discussing the music
scene in town and telling stories. You’ll see a mom sipping a soda and reading
one of our magazines while waiting on their little one to finish up with a
lesson. You’ll see people come in to hang a flyer on our community bulletin
board or come in to see what’s new on the board. Folks come in to buy tickets
to a local show or event or to drop off their entry packet for the New Mexico music awards.
Some folks just come in to say hi and to be around other musicians. Others come
in to enjoy a cup of coffee and our free WiFi. A customer might come in and ask
us to pass something on to another musician who will be in later to pick it up.
We’re also a safe and fun after-school hang out for our youth while maintaining
a professional retail environment. Unlike many other musical instrument stores,
we encourage everyone to get their hands on and play our instruments. Our ads
boast Learn, Shop, Play!
Actual Customer Comments:
“Love em. The Candyman does so much to support
the music scene.”
Candyman is the Musician’s Post Office Box.”
on air during 98.1 KBAC’s, Joann ‘The Lunch Lady’ show.
We believe in building a strong
community network for musicians and giving out to the community before getting
back. We are active members in our local Chamber of Commerce and Rand Cook
serves on the advisory board of The Youth Radio Network.
have provided over $20,000 in scholarships to kids who otherwise would not be able to join in one of
our programs. We donate equipment and provide sound systems for various
community events and non-profits. We also provide instruments at low cost to a
massive list of non-profit organizations such as Heart Gallery, CYFD, Outside In,
KSFR (NPR) to name just a few. In addition, we have several trade agreements in
place as well as provide trade on case-by-case basis for local businesses and
Actual Customer Comment:
knew you were the coolest store owners in Santa Fe...such good hearts.”
There are no short-timers on our
staff and our customers appreciate dealing with the same people, year after
year. One of the most common complaints from musicians is the high turnover of
sales staff at other dealers and the resulting inconsistencies in their
shopping experiences from day to day. We realize that consumers like to see the
same faces on each visit and this industry is one that thrives with the personal
relationships salespeople develop with their clientele. Staff members at The
Candyman aren’t just cashiers and sales people, they are working professional
musicians. They are extremely knowledgeable about every product carried in our
store. They thrive on making certain that their customers are satisfied. Our
customers appreciate their solid understanding of the music industry,
instruments, and accessories.
operate under the assumption that any customer who enters our store is a
potential customer of our competitors. We strive to give each client our utmost
attention and try to accommodate whatever need brought them to us. We make
every effort to win them over in a low-pressure relaxed atmosphere, while
stimulating their senses with modern eye-catching displays, designed to
maximize impulse buying. We always bend to the type of customer we are
serving, whether he or she is a professional, novice, parent, or
child. In short, nobody walks out unless we are satisfied we did everything
possible to gain their business either today or in the future!
Actual Customer Comment:
will keep buying stuff for my instrument :-)"
staff understands our customers, engages them in conversation, listens to them
and helps them according to their preferences. Our staff members truly believe
that their success is directly related to the store’s success, and the store’s
success is directly related to the level of customer satisfaction we provide.
Customers continually refer us to their friends and are proud to tell us when
Actual Customer Comments:
promised myself (and my wife) that I would never order an acoustic guitar off
the web again. Rand at the Candyman went out of his way to get a demo of a
sweet Martin sent to the store, so I could try it out. The big box music stores
can stick it. I think all Santa Fe musicians should consider making a significant
purchase at The Candyman this year, and support this amazing local resource.
(Don't forget that most American cities just have a soulless [name of store]
Candyman: First off I want to thank you guys for all the great support you give
to all the musicians here in "Santa." I don't think many musicians
out there could survive without your help!!! I would also like to thank
you for the killer deal you gave me on my new MAPEX SATURN drums. I certainly
could not have realized a dream of owning a "PRO" level instrument
otherwise. Gracias to: El Randy, El Borrego, El Sambo, El Steve. You guys
really rock. I am blessed to be associated with you."
don’t stock it, we can special order almost anything and get it within
1-3 weeks! We are happy to do this over the phone and will ship anywhere
from our store. We also offer Layaway, GE Financing and price match
(with just a few restrictions).
One visit will show you why The Candyman is Santa Fe's Community Music Center!!