SJC Drums quadruples space with new Southbridge facility

BY Zachary Comeau

Photo | Zachary Comeau
Photo | Zachary Comeau
SJC Drums began with Mike Ciprari and his brother Scott in their grandmother's basement. Their earliest drums are now on display in the company's Southbridge facility.

The 60,000-square-foot facility custom drum manufacturer SJC Drums just moved into is booming with potential.
The main entrance of the company’s new digs in Southbridge is highlighted by displays of kits used by some of the company’s most famous clients, including drummers from Slipknot, Green Day and Imagine Dragons.
Founder Mike Ciprari called the move a massive expansion coming from a 13,000-square-foot shop down the street. A lot of the manufacturing space was vacant is currently unused, but the company is planning to purchase more equipment and hire more workers.
“Our goal is to grow into this space and hire accordingly,” he said.
Included in the company’s move are new offices, a sound studio, conference rooms and a showroom that rivals the entire size of the company’s former facility. Ciprari said his vision for the space could include a retail and point-of-sale space while also being able to host performances or tour kickoffs, like the one hosted Monday. 
The Loyal to the Craft Tour, featuring Frank Zummo of pop-punk band Sum 41 kicked off at the new facility, where local drummers and students from School of Rock, a multi-location company teaching musical instruments to children.
Dozens of drummers tried their hand at SJC’s flashy kits in the soundbooth. At their old facility, there was barely space in the cramped shop to set up a full kit.
To help the company grow in the space, SJC has brought on industry veteran John Shand as general manager.
Shand has three decades of experience in the musical instrument industry, including as managing director and international sales lead with Connecticut-based KMC Music. 
He’ll now oversee all operations of SJC Drums, including financial, sales and marketing to help take the company to the next level, Shand said.
With the backdrop of loud music, Shand told the WBJ on Monday that SJC’s growth will include new sales channels -- specifically retail stores -- and international sales.
Shand said he’s had a relationship with SJC for years as their supplier of products.
Shand declined to say how much the company invested in the move, but said the landlord, A&M Tool, had already renovated much of the building to attract future tenants. 
The showroom will soon be littered with dozens of colorful and artistic drum sets from some of the company’s most popular clients previously tucked away in a cramped room down the street.
“We’ve got a lot of room to expand,” Shand said. “Probably more than we need.”