A Diamond "In the Rough"
Paramount Jewelers opened its doors in 1946 at 7324 Manchester, today occupied by the business offices of J&E's Office City.
The jeweler moved to its current location in 1962 and it was then and there the iconic signage of a bygone era was constructed.
The sign has lasted through thick and thin along with the unpretenious shop on the inside with its cases and cases of watches and jewelry. Paramount Jewelers has stood the test of time by providing personal service and a focus on clients over a glitzy image.
Mayor White will be presenting Paramount Jewelers with a proclamation commemorating their 65th Anniversary on Thursday, August 25th at 4:30 p.m. Festivities run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 7348 Manchester.
A Peek into the Old Shop
Doug Houser, our historian-at-large, snagged this photo of Al Hirsh in the original shop at 7324 Manchester and scanned it for our 21st century viewing.
The shop ownership was taken over a few years ago by Paul and Mary Buenger. Paul now at the helm, worked for Paramount for 32 years.
Paul has made one major effort to bring the shop into the digital age: he developed a website!
Here is a shot of the shop in 1962, all brand spanking new!
A View of the Strip
Unfortunately, this photo is undated but if you look long and hard at the left side of the Manchester strip, you can see the Paramount Jewelers' signage.
The 70's were what some people called the dark days of Maplewood, many retailers moved to shopping malls and left empty storefronts.
It is amazing the staying power several retailers have brought to the community. Yes, over the years many people have contributed to Maplewood's "rebirth" but keeping your business in a community during its dark moments shows a strong commitment and incredible loyalty.
A Shot from Today, Well it was Wednesday, August 24th, Actually!
Thanks again to Doug Houser for capturing the past with the present in this photo of our Route 66 banner and the lovely Paramount Jewelers' sign.
Paramount Jewelers is not old enough to be recognized as an original Route 66 business but their anniversary is cause for celebration and we are very pleased to have them as part of our business community.