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Established in 2000, AGB is owned and operated by Cory Lake, a Minneapolis-based guitar collector and recording engineer. Lake’s ongoing interest in the intersection of design and music has led to his reputation as an innovative veteran of the industry.
Known for his philanthropic and creative collaborations, Lake has led numerous fundraising efforts to bring music classrooms and education to Boys & Girls Clubs, partnered with iconic designer Carlos Falchi to create a line of limited edition, luxury guitar straps, and backed untold numbers of charitable concerts in the Midwest, including the first-ever reunion show of the Purple Rain-era “The Revolution,” some twenty years after they last performed together.
Lake is the only dealer in his industry invited to create a pop-up shop in Neiman Marcus and his series of guitar shops have garnered accolades in their locales and beyond: in 2012, AGB was named one of Guitar Player magazine’s top independent stores in the nation.
Lake currently lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Stephanie, and they welcomed their daughter, Odette, late in 2013. Their daughter’s birth brought about a profound change in business.
According to Lake, “AGB is a family run business and that means family comes first. With Odette’s arrival, I wanted to change the nature of doing business, and that meant setting up an independent retail store, run by my long-time right hand Tim O’Brien, in his home state of Alabama, while I concentrate on the more high-tech side of commerce.”
Now in its 4th brick and mortar incarnation, AGB’s showroom is located in the riverfront town of Phenix. The online shop features everything from fixer-upper pedals to high-end, boutique guitars, all hand-selected by Lake.
Delving further into the online segments of his company, Lake also oversees his state-of-the-art custom guitar and bass generator, created in partnership with G&L, which allows clients to select every element of their dream guitar or bass. “It is an amazing creative space in which to operate,” says Lake, “knowing that I can follow in the design legacy of no less than Leo Fender, and be home every day to raise my daughter.”