Calling it quits: Beerbower Jewelers going out of business | News, Sports, Jobs

A mirror image of Walt Frank Al Beerbower standing behind the counter at Beerbower Jewelers. Beerbower is retiring after more than 40 years at the store.

HOLLIDAYSBURG – A longtime institution in downtown Hollidaysburg will be closing its doors.

Beerbower Jewelers, founded in 1954 by Al and Millie Beerbower, is a privately held store.

“We will be open during the holidays and will be closed early next year,” said owner Don Beerbower, who plans to retire.

“You work your whole life to enjoy the years you have left on this planet with your family and friends,” said Beerbower, who will soon be 66.

His wife, Karen, retired last year after 34 years of teaching at Penn-Mont Academy. He spends most of his time living in the Pittsburgh area with his daughter Meghan and three granddaughters – with a fourth child on the way.

“I am a daughter (because of Karen) and I always want to work, but now is a good time to organize the family.” If my husband had stayed here, I might have retired and moved on,” Beerbower said. “It’s not for the financial season; We’ve had a lot of success here in Blair County.

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Beerbower Jewelers has had a major impact on the business scene over the years.

“It maintains an excellent reputation for quality and service. I always hate to lose businesses that are part of an area’s tradition, but it’s hard to leave, especially with the challenges small businesses face. Beerbower’s will be hard to replace,” said Blair County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Joe Hurd.

“Don contributed to the region, not only economically, but in enhancing special occasions through unique fine jewelry. We congratulate Don Beerbower on ‘his pension,’ The Hollidaysburg Community Partnership said in a statement.

Don was appointed to the family business because “He went after his dad.”

He quit his job as an accountant and started working full-time in 1980. He and his sister Jane have run the day-to-day operations since the mid-1990s. Jane started the business about 10 years ago, and Don became the sole owner in 2012.

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Beerbower said he will miss his customers and the day-to-day operations.

“I make special pieces; it’s a new challenge every day. I never thought I wanted to do business. Doing business is like an addiction, being an entrepreneur is betting on yourself, like a gambler. It’s fast,” Beerbower said.

Beerbower is a registered jeweler with the American Gem Society. He also holds the title of AGS Certified Gemologist Appraiser and Graduate Gemologist with GIA, the Gemological Institute of America.

Beerbower said it’s important to give back to the community.

“Cyber ​​shops have more sales on the Internet, but they don’t give back to the community like local businesses. We’ve always tried to give back to the community. We’re a big advocate for small businesses because just one. We’re a successful small business that’s been around for 68 years,” Beerbower said. “How long did it take?”

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Beerbower said he has not listed the company for sale but hopes someone will step forward to buy it.

“We’ve been here 68 years, they can turn the key and start the business. I will stick to counseling and training. I love selling it and having it here for our customers for years,” Beerbower said.

Beerbower said he plans to spend more time with his family. Along with Meghan and her daughter, her two sons, Nathan and AJ, also have three daughters.

“Maybe I’ll find that I don’t like retirement and maybe find something to do, work part-time. I always need to work. I have hobbies and I like to play golf. His grandchildren will keep me busy, I hope so,” Beerbower said.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 814-946-7467.

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