1975, Tom Peterson studies guitarmaking at Charles Fox's School of Guitar Research and Design in North Stratford, Vt.
1975, Todd Taggart works as model for Norman Rockwell.
Tom and Todd meet in 1977 while working at Stonegate Winery in Calistoga, Calif. Both have graduated from college with liberal arts degrees, with one business course taken between them.
In 1978 Tom and Todd scrape together enough $ to buy the inventory and mailing list of Bill Lewis' company, Lewis Luthier Supplies of Vancouver, Canada and move the stock to a rented warehouse (412 Moore Lane) in Healdsburg, Calif.
Lutemaker, Roger Sherron joins Tom and Todd and they begin The Luthier's Mercantile. They run the operation based on the adage: Tom and Todd wait for no man.
1983, Tom leaves to start a parts supply business, concentrating on kerfing . Operation now run on adage, If you have to ask, you don't know.
1984, Add computer to office, Roger falls for it and later leaves to work in the computer industry.
1985, John Curtis becomes partner. We begin importing Brazilian rosewood and other sustainable woods from special NGO projects.
1985, We buy the inventory or Hart Huttig's Allied Traders of Miami. The same year, we take over David Russell Young's business of making carbon fiber rods, as David goes into bow making. John, above photo, made the special saw we used for cutting graphite rods.
1986, Tom Ribbecke starts working at The Luthier's Mercantile, back in the business after a few years break to recover from excessive exposure to lacquer and other finish solvents. We revert to our old operating adage: Tom and Todd wait for no man.
1993, Charles Fox starts American School of Lutherie a few units down from our warehouse.
1994, July, The owners of Theodor Nagel GmbH of Hamburg, Germany buy the assets of The Luthiers Mercantile and changed the company name to Luthiers Mercantile International. One might note that technically Theodore Nagel did not buy The Luthiers Mercantile, but the owners of Theodor Nagel did. I clarify this because during and for a period after negotiation stages the new owners did not want their involvement known. I stayed on as president until February of 2000. Both John Curtis and Tom Ribbecke went on to pursue other things, namely Tom builds great guitars, and John continues consulting and working on projects similar to the Palcazu Project.
1996 Healdsburg Guitar Festival . In late 1995, Tim Olsen of the Guild of American Luthiers and I talk about having a regional festival here in Healdsburg. I like the idea, and talk to Tom Ribbecke, and Charles Fox about it. They like it too. We talk to David Lusterman, publisher of Acoustic Guitar Magazine. He likes the idea, too. The Healdsburg Guitar Festival is born.