New owners at Colorado Case

co_caseIf you play a stringed instrument – and we know that a large percentage of our readers do – you may already be familiar with the Colorado Case Company. They have been making custom cases, gig bags and case covers for the acoustic market since 1993.

Though their clientele covers a wide range of players in many styles, bluegrass folks have embraced their wares from the start through the company’s various product lines. You will see Colorado Case or Small Dog covers and cases any time you attend a bluegrass festival, carried by pros and jammers alike.

This May, after 20 years under the direction of founder Steve Simmons, ownership of Colorado Case and its affiliated brands transferred to a new pair of owner/operators, brothers Chuck and Bill Grewe. The brothers had worked as partners in an earlier business, and despite no previous experience in musical supply, the Grewes decided that the time was right to take a leap.

Chuck tells us that he worked in music most of his life as a bass player (acoustic and electric), as well as in band management and promotion. Bill spent most of his career in manufacturing, and plays the mandolin when he has time. Together they decided to look for a new undertaking they could manage together.

Bill and Chuck Grewe, new owners of Colorado Case (7/8/13)“We were both looking to make a transition to something new and interesting in our careers. Bill was dabbling in consulting and I was exploring opening a bar when we heard about this opportunity. We had run an international business together starting in the late ’90s and thought a new joint venture might be a good way to keep us off the streets.

So, we began discussions with the previous owner and found the business compelling enough to hook our imaginations. After hashing through all the busy work, it seemed like a perfect fit with amazing prospects so we pushed the button.”

The company will remain headquartered in Ft. Collins, CO which Chuck says has been a big help as they have transitioned into ownership.

“Luckily for us, our production staff have all stayed on. We have amazing people working here. They are innovators and super hard workers, and their support and dedication is nothing short of inspirational.

Our staff is the heart of this business.”

The brothers not only feel that Colorado Case already represents strong brands with plenty of customer good will, they are investigating ways to improve their products further, and introduce them to more and more musicians.

“We are testing new materials for enhanced durability, insulation and waterproofing to make our case covers stand up better to the rigors of travel while protecting our customer’s valuable instruments.

Although we have concentrated a great deal of our product lines on the bluegrass community, we also make custom case covers for keyboards, historical instruments and orchestral instruments. We do a surprising amount of business being the premier manufacturer of custom harp cases in the world as well. So our continuing plans for growth will include expansion into providing custom and stock case covers for instruments in all music genres from classical to rock and bluegrass to jazz.

We are also looking at a major overhaul of our website. We think it needs to be more comprehensive, user friendly, and nicer to look at. A little pride of ownership there. However there are no plans to change the core ideology of Colorado Case Company which is to continue making the finest instrument cases and case covers available in the world.”

You may run into Chuck and Bill at one of your favorite bluegrass events, as they are hoping to have a presence at a number of major festivals.

“The bluegrass community has helped build Colorado Case into the company it is today. Bluegrass music is very important to us, and was one of the reasons we jumped into this business.

We are planning to attend a number of bluegrass festivals throughout the summer and fall. What could be better than having to attend bluegrass events for work? A true dream job.”

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.