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About Us

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Our shop sign has been around for about 25 years but we recently had it repainted.  Here it is in all its glory.

Hoffman Guitars is, more than anything, the sum of its parts. Over the years I have been lucky to work with some remarkably talented folks, and it is their skills which make me proud of my shop and the work we do. At the risk of giving a bit more information than you want or need,  I thought I would introduce the folks at Hoffman Guitars.

 

 

wpe3.gif (24469 bytes)CHARLIE HOFFMAN: I built my first guitar in 1970 while I was a Ph.D. candidate in American History at the U of M.  When I realized that I didn't really want to teach (what else can you do with a Ph.D. in American Constitutional history),  I opened a repair shop (in 1971) with Rod Bellville. Within a few years I was devoting most of my time to building, and left repairs to others in my shop. To date my "body count" is in excess of 600 guitars,  including one which is now in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society (Apparently, unbeknownst to me, I had become an icon of the folk music boom in the 70's in Minnesota and they were doing an exhibit of various decades in Minnesota History).   In 1983, a combination of financial and other issues led me to go to law school. I graduated in 1986 and immediately joined a fine medium size law firm (70+ lawyers - but who is counting) here in town.  Some years later I became  a partner, and specialized in litigation and, particularly, state level telecommunications regulation.  Despite this "mid-life crisis" I kept the shop open (never had any other thought.).  More recently, in May of 2002, I became "Of Counsel" with the Maslon firm, a title that really means semi-retired.  In 2008 when I turned 65 I officially left the Maslon firm.  I am  again actively  building guitars, am almost back to my pre-lawyer production numbers, and am continually attempting to upgrade my production process and the quality of my instruments.  I am married to Susan (the Susan below, not the Susan above) and have two children, a son-in-law and three grandchildren.   Sari, (that is her in the picture with me - but now she is a teenager and recently returned from  a year in Germany as an exchange student), Raafael, and most recently,  Rowan.   In addition to the above, I read incessantly, and am a bone fide tool junkie.  I have never met a tool I didn't want to own.

 Well, this photo is about 30 years old, and what it proves, other than that I was young once,  is that I was also young and a bit foolish.  Or at least, foolish looking.  Actually looking at old photos like this gives me a kick, and a big belly laugh.  

 

charlie22.jpg (46935 bytes)  Another -shows that the above photo is not a fluke.

 

 

 

 

 

  A photo of me when I was an attorney -there is a scary photo!!

wpe1.jpg (36809 bytes)  This is a more contemporary photo, gray hair and all.

 This photo appeared in an article about Minnesota Guitar Builders which was in Fretboard Journal. 

    That's probably as many photos of me as you can stand!!

   Here I am with C.F. Martin #1,000,000

I use strapping tape when I am gluing binding in place.  Over the years when I remove the tape I have collected the used tape in a big ball.  The one seen here is the second I have made and will soon be retired since it no longer fits under my bench.

 

  This is my lovely wife, SUSAN.  We have been married for 38 years.

 

 

Gabriel Hoffman:  I have been working in the shop for nearly 30 years, on and off.  I built my first guitar when I was 13 (with a lot of help from dad!), and my first acoustic when I was 19.  I have spent the last few years helping dad with his guitars, and learning to manage the shop, and look forward to building guitars for the rest of my life, and to continuing my father's legacy of fine instruments. 

 

 

On July 22, 2011 the newest member of our family came into the world.  His name is Nicholas Degana Sambo, better known as Nikki.  Here is his photo:

  Nikki is, as should be obvious, an Standard Poodle (the 4th one owned by Susan and I) and he is turning out to be a very fine fellow. 

  Nikki is now almost 8 months old and about 52 pounds.  He will be a big boy (about 60 # we think) and is indeed a very fine fellow.  He sits in my lap when I read the paper in the morning - should be interesting when he is 60# or more.

Nikki on the couch

  Nikki on the couch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wpe4.jpg (11256 bytes)     RIP  Easy. 

1/26/11.   This morning, at the age of 15 1/2 years Easy went to his rest.  He was a lovely dog and I will miss him. A lot.

This is my dog, EASY (a standard poodle), who is one of the "shop dogs", the other being PACO, Kevin's dog. (See above)  Easy loves to come to the shop with me.  He is very friendly and makes friends with everyone who comes in.

 

 

 

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aboutu19.jpg (49872 bytes)  Easy's friend here is Claire, the daughter of the owner of the building next to ours.  

easymask.jpg (23851 bytes)  We are very safety conscious - even the shop dog wears a mask.

This website and all of its content, text and images are copyright 1997-2012  by Charles A. Hoffman.  All rights reserved.

 
2219 East Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN. 55404

hoffmanguitars@qwestoffice.net or choffman820@comcast.net

(612) 338-1079