Ignition Music Garage Is Both a Retail and Performance Space for Music Lovers
Writer & Photographer / Lois Tomaszewski
Over the years, the building that houses Ignition Music Garage in Goshen served a lot of different purposes – a car repair shop, headquarters for an art guild, and even a bookstore. For lifelong record collector Julie Hershberger, it was always supposed to be a record store – her record store, to be exact.
Hershberger and her business partner Tim Hochstetler bought the business in 2018. The business opened as a record store in 2012. Since then, Hershberger and Hochstetler worked hard to build up the vast inventory of new and collectible vinyl records, and produce a performance space in downtown Goshen.
“We are basically known for Americana music and live performances,” Hershberger says.
She defines Americana music as multi-genre, with selections in hard rock, jazz, funk and many other musical styles. That multi-genre approach also applies to the performances of local, regional and national touring bands and performers on Ignition’s stage.
Hershberger, who grew up in Goshen, says she has always been a record collector. Her passion for music was nurtured by her mother, a yoga instructor, who often used music from 45 records to motivate her yoga students.
The collector in her is never satisfied and is always looking for something to add to her personal collection. As a record store owner, she also has an appreciation for the styles of music others enjoy. Ignition purchases collections of used records and stocks a selection of new vinyl.
“If a record is out there, I can find it for someone,” she says. “People ask for all sorts of albums and music, some that I have never heard of. If you love music, you can come in here and we will not judge you for whatever music you love.”
Interest in vinyl records is on an upswing, especially over the past few years. Hershberger says it became very apparent during the pandemic, when her business did very well. She attributes that to the nostalgia of grandparents or parents wanting something to do with their children, or people being cooped up with nowhere to go. Even three generations of customers from the same family came in and shopped for music that they would then listen to together at home.
“Listening to music was a good way for families to bond,” she says.
The music industry is also doing its part to keep vinyl relevant to today’s music-loving customers. Hershberger says many albums are remastered and pressed on vinyl. Special editions are being released and some records feature unreleased songs. Even colored vinyl is available for some music.
Everything on the sales floor in this industrial-style space is built to be mobile. On nights when there is a live band or entertainer, the racks of records can be wheeled out of the way. This allows for the band to use the stage at the front of the store, and the audience to sit or stand to watch the act.
“We take great pride in how good our shows sound and what an intimate experience it is,” she says. “People can see the fingers moving on the guitar, for example.”
Ignition can also be rented out for parties, fundraisers or special events.
Hershberger recalls one special occasion for a grandmother’s birthday. Her grandson brought in country singer Billy Dean to perform on his grandmother’s birthday. She was one of Dean’s fans.
“This was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen someone do for their grandmother,” Hershberger says.
Hershberger’s and Hochstetler’s goal is to grow Ignition into a night spot for the community. Eventually, they would like to have music of some type seven nights a week, including open-mic nights and jams, dance parties, and a night devoted to vinyl.
“It’s a great space for music lovers,” Hershberger says. “I want people to walk in here and feel like this is run by people who love music. I want this to be a space where people feel welcome.”
Ignition Music Garage is located at 120 East Washington Street in Goshen. Visit ignitionmusic.net for more information and to peruse the music inventory. Follow Ignition Music Garage on social media for event information. Call 574-971-8282 for additional details.