Mendoza's was founded in 1948 by Howard and Olga Beisel as "Mendoza Camera Shop." The business continued until Howard's death in 1961. Olga continued to run the business and later married Richard Wisner. That's when Mendoza's Guitars began in 1964 as a guitar shop and teaching studio. Richard and Olga Wisner were the founders. Richard started playing the guitar at age 12 and began playing in various bands at age 16. In 1963 he started taking students and soon became very much in demand. His specialty was classical guitar. He averaged 75 students per week. A few years later he was asked by the IUSB music department to establish a degree program in classical guitar. It included four levels including a performance level degree. Many students went on to careers in music achieving national and international acclaim including Terry Graves and Ian Krouse, founding members of the Falla Guitar Trio, and Greg Shearer who is a fine jazz guitarist. Many of the local musicians and entertainers playing today in the area clubs and coffee houses have studied with Richard at one time or another. Others have pursued careers in teaching. Dean Wachs, Gerry Zubko, and William Troutman have taught at Mendoza's for over thirty years. In 2010 Dean Wachs purchased Mendoza's and he and Gerry Zubko are continuing Richard Wisner's legacy of high quality guitar instruction.
2018 will mark Mendoza's 70th year in business.
In July of 2017 Mendoza's moved to the Mishawaka location and is now operating alongside our colleagues at the Miller Guitar Academy.