Tobias Music was founded in October 1978. Mom (Margaret) and Pops (Ken) Tobias always had an interest in folk music and guitars. Pops used to play some live gigs in his younger years. Mom played and taught guitar for the local high school districts and the YMCA.
They decided to take a modest bank loan to open a small, family run guitar store within a couple of blocks of their home. The original intent was to provide guitar-related activities for any of the interested Tobias children and in the future, possibly provide an income for some of the family members.
Three of the Tobias children (total of 6) as well as Margaret Tobias, worked at the store in its early years. It was a cozy, little shop, about 400 sq ft. It was a neighborhood hang-out from the beginning.
In 1982, due to a layoff from his real gig, Ken Tobias came to the store as its full time operator. At the time, he really wasn’t thinking about the store as his full time occupation, but because of the soft job market at that time, his stay was extended (at this point, 30+ years!!). As time passed, the customer base grew and it appeared as if the store might someday provide a stable income. The perseverance of the family paid off and now Tobias Music, while still occupying the same location, has become one of the most respected acoustic guitar shops in the greater Chicago metropolitan area as well as the nation.