FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Even in the midst of a pandemic, Sweetwater recorded record growth in 2020.

Sweetwater served more than 1.5 million unique customers with musical equipment purchases in 2020, up from just under 1 million in 2019. That pushed Sweetwater to cross $1 billion in revenue in 2020 – the first time crossing that threshold in its 42-year history.

In a news release, Sweetwater called itself “a beacon of hope” throughout the pandemic, offering musical instruments “as a form of therapy” to people “forced to redefine themselves.”

Sweetwater founder and CEO said the company was celebrating the role and the success.

“While we are proud of these company milestones, what we are really celebrating is the resilience, determination, and success of independent musicians, churches, and podcast producers everywhere, many of whom went out on a limb to invest in a new reality, rather than fold their tents,” said Chuck Surack, founder and CEO of Sweetwater. “During such a difficult year, knowing that our customers, manufacturers and employees trust us and can continue to rely on us as a stable and growing influence in the music and audio retail space is something for which we are incredibly grateful.”

Sweetwater also added more than 400 jobs in 2020, increasing its workforce by nearly 30 percent, and opened a new 480,000 square foot distribution center then expanded it by 50,000 square feet over the summer.