A 100-year-old business takes experience from the Great Wars to fight the Invisible Enemy

Paul Hahn Jr., Gordon Lightfoot, Alex Hahn

Being the third-generation owner of a 100-year-old family business – with 30 years under my belt – I have always taken great pride in being prepared for any hurdle that came my way, and I have experienced my fair share of bumps and bruises. Today, we are facing COVID-19.

When I first started with the company, my father would love to share stories of the struggles Paul Hahn & Co. experienced. As I remember it, he would repeat ad nauseam all these old adages: ‘The company is a gift’; ‘Don’t mess it up’;  ‘Rags to rags in 3 generations’; ‘He who laughs first laughs last…’  

In 2020, so many of these memories have come flooding back; stories of difficult times, like Paul Hahn Sr. having to sell CNR stocks to stay open through the Depression; Weathered the two world wars as a German immigrant (I can only imagine his struggles); then the challenge that took the biggest toll on my father: surviving stagflation of the 70s/80s.

I am now getting the feeling that the first 30 years of my working career were a breeze. I followed the mantra, “Do the little things faithfully and the big things will fall into place”. Today we are really facing the unknown: the full impact of how COVID-19 will leave its mark on our company and the world. While this is truly an alarming and intimidating time, I take great comfort in reflecting on other events of the past 100 years, trusting that these will help to pave the way. 

Life has changed so quickly. Just over a month ago the shop was bustling; today, business is at a standstill. I am pleased to report that the Paul Hahn team is all working together for a better tomorrow, taking this time to create a vision of how we can see Paul Hahn & Co. best serve our clients in the new economy. Using a plethora of resources and the advice of government and health professionals, we are focusing on moving forward with new protocols for all our interactions with the public. We will also focus on initiatives to help the piano once again become an active member of the family. Just one of these initiatives is offering the installation of a Silent System into your piano, which enables your instrument to be accessible anywhere you live, at any time.  

The idea of a family business is to ride the waves of good and bad together. When we return to a new normal, whenever and whatever that may be, you can rest assured that Paul Hahn & Co. will be here for your piano needs once again.

Alex Hahn