Music Compound of Sarasota County
Jenny Townsend has always had a love for music. Working her way through college as a student in the hospitality program at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, she landed at a restaurant that hosted local bands. Thus the seed for her dream was planted.
“I was actually waiting tables while going to college and individuals were looking for a place to jam out after work and there was nothing in the area,” she said. “I was connected to a lot of local musicians and fell in love with their passion and I wanted to provide a place for them to connect with other individuals as well.”
And so, Music Compound was born. What started out as space to rent out to local bands at night, turned into a music education center for both adults and children. Music Compound, which opened January 4 in Sarasota, offers private and group lessons, monthly workshops and an opportunity for locals to perform in monthly concerts or mic nights.
“We are a second home for musicians that are looking to inspire, educate and collaborate with one another,” Townsend said.
To get to this place, Townsend reached out to business consultant David Auxier at the Florida SBDC at USF Sarasota-Manatee for assistance. From the start, he asked her why she hadn’t applied for a U.S. Small Business Administration loan. Over the next few months, Auxier helped her through the process of making sure her business plan and financials were in order for a pitch to Home Bank.
She also received mentoring assistance from SCORE.
“With the help of the SBDC at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, I was able to obtain a $120,000 loan for the Music Compound,” she said. The loan, was contingent on being able to secure a location for the business.
“We lost our main venue two weeks prior to the open date,” Townsend said of her biggest challenge when trying to open a business. “I had another venue tied up for two and a half months and found out they didn’t have the proper zoning on December 16th.”
Townsend was fortunate enough to find a location on Cattlemen Road available and with the help of her network, the space was transformed and ready for opening day, two weeks later. With that challenge behind her, she is looking forward to future opportunities for Music Compound.