GARDINER — For Jason Goucher, the story of Niche, Inc. is pretty simple.

“We just wanted to be a music hub for musicians,” Goucher said one recent afternoon, sitting at the counter of his Gardiner shop.

Niche, Inc., which he and his partner, Samantha Robinson, have run for two years, marries their complimentary interests in music and retail.

“When there’s something unique, you can either take off or flop,” Goucher said.

For John Callinan, who runs Craft Beer Cellar, it’s been a fast two years.

“We close three days during the entire year. People like to buy beer, and you have to be there for them. If you’re not, they go somewhere else, and you lose them,” he said. “I haven’t had a lot of time to reflect. All I know is I’m enjoying it while I’m doing it.”

The two businesses opened two years ago within about a week of each other. Since then, Goucher and Robinson and Callinan have become friends, talking over business issues, sending customers to each other’s stores and to other shops on Water Street, and collaborating on ideas that will bring customers through the doors of their shops.

“Last year, Jason, to celebrate the first anniversary for his shop, asked me to be a sponsor for the event he did, and I agreed,” Callinan said. “This year, he asked me to be a partner.”

And now the three of them, on the verge of two years in business, have organized an anniversary celebration that will include the community.

The result is a Night of Celebration, a concert at Johnson Hall, featuring Anita Antoinette, Sasquatch and Max Garcia Conover. Anita Antoinette is a two-time contestant on “The Voice,” and she’s got an album coming out this month.

On Friday, Niche, Inc., is celebrating its grand re-opening in its larger space, with a stage for open mic nights, during the afternoon; and Craft Beer Cellars is hosting a VIP event before the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m.

“For small businesses like ours, to make it through two years is pretty good,” Callinan said. “We’ve seen some come in with a good idea but not a plan. We both plan very carefully what we’re doing, and we thought it was a good reason to celebrate.”

Although the event was planned, the shape of it was a happy accident.

Goucher was looking for vendors for accessories for the store and came across KMC, a distributor of Luna guitars.

When he called to find out what he would need to do, he spent some time on the phone with an employee there — Anita Antoinette.

The name rang a bell and Goucher looked her up online. Goucher invited Antoinette to perform and, after some consideration, Antoinette said yes. From there, they agreed that the Maine band Sasquatch would play with her. Max Garcia Conover also is performing at Johnson Hall.

“It felt surreal,” Goucher said. “This is what I like doing, and this is what I wanted to do. As much as I like playing, I like planning.”

Niche, Inc., has been behind two Music Walks in Gardiner to date, an event that brings music acts to downtown Gardiner.

“If music and beer can’t be fun, we shouldn’t be doing it,” Callinan said.

These collaborations help promote business in Gardiner, Gardiner Main Street Executive Director Patrick Wright said.

“We always encourage collaborations. The purpose for our existence is building these connections and helping to foster them,” he said.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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