For the third consecutive year, Plum Grove Music in Lowell was honored in 2016 as one of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) top 100 musical instrument and product retailers in the world, announced Rick Thacker, founder and President. Starting in a small basement room, Plum Grove now has 20 employees and 400 students with hundreds of rentals in 9 states and 10 foreign countries. Launched in 2009, Plum Grove is run debt-free and offers customized services for customers and schools. Known for its handcrafted instruments, Plum Grove is dedicated to providing a quality experience to students, Rick said. At a time when many retailers are struggling against online competition, Plum Grove aims to offer a “remarkable experience” with great service, high value instruments, and flexible tuition plans. “Other retailers sell instruments while we are dedicated to creating music makers.” Ironically, Rick started out wanting to earn a “lot of money,” but by the time he was in his late teens, he was influenced by his strong faith. He chose to make violins. He had started taking lessons at age 3 and in his teens, he already had a robust practice. At the suggestion of a mentor, Rick attended the Chicago School of Violin Making, the world’s premiere violin making institution. He is one of the few violin makers in Northwest Indiana. Today, Plum Grove is positioned as a premiere educational facility offering exceptional instruments and service.