Eddie Gonzalez dreamed of playing in the N.C. Symphony as a boy.
But after picking up an electric guitar at age 15, he wanted to become the next Eddie Van Halen.
The owner of the newly opened Fat Cat Music and Sound in Goldsboro admits his dreams shifted through the years but music has always remained a constant.
The store is his second, after opening Fat Cat Music in Wilson in 2013.
Gonzalez's interest in Goldsboro is partly tied to his history in working as the manager of the former Mac Stewart Music store, which used to be at the corner of Berkeley Boulevard and Ash Street, in the 1990s.
"I've been trying to get into Goldsboro for two years," Gonzalez said. "I've just wanted to get back in the Goldsboro market. We just thought there was room for us to be in Goldsboro, and we wanted to be here."
Fat Cat Music and Sound, at 112 E. Mulberry St., is stocked with a variety of instruments, including acoustic, electric and bass guitars, drum sets, keyboards, accordions, acoustic and electric guitar starter packs, amplifiers, mixers and a variety of accessories.
The store also has a band and
orchestra section, with violins and reconditioned band instruments, including flutes, trumpets, trombones, clarinets and saxophones.
Because of having a second location in Wilson, the business has access to additional inventory. Plans include fully stocking the store, as well as adding more items as business increases.
"We're a full service music store, with everything from accordions to digital pianos, guitars, bases, amplifiers and recording studio gear," Gonzalez said. "We do it all."
"We want to be a one-stop shop for everything, instruments, sound, everything. It's going to continue to grow. I'll continue adding lines."
Music lessons will be available in January, including acoustic, electric and bass guitar, drums and piano. The business is interested in adding a voice lesson teacher.
"We're putting together a lesson program, hopefully, to inspire kids to play instruments," he said. "Lessons are a big part of the plan because my biggest competition is any hand-held electronic device. Learning to play an instrument just isn't on their minds anymore."
In addition to musical instruments and lessons, Fat Cat Music also provides sound system installations, consultations and service calls.
The store, which can be reached at 919-288-2766, is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gonzalez says the store will have plenty of products but a strong focus on customer service.
"I want people to walk in and say this is a big-box store with a mom and pop mentality," he said.