KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — After 100 years, a West Michigan jewelry store is closing up shop.
Thomas S. Fox Fine Jewelry Outlet will shutter in two months.
In 1917, Thomas Fox’s father, Martin Fox, opened a jewelry store in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids on Monroe Avenue across from the Pantlind Hotel, which is now the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. It quickly became a household name, with popular commercials. The business grew, and soon had multiple locations in Grand Rapids and 48 stores across several states.
Thomas Fox worked with his dad throughout the years. Then, in 1990, he sold the franchise.
In 2001, the name came back to the family. Now, Tom Fox’s son-in-law, John Turrentine, runs its sole remaining location in Kentwood.
“I would say the part I’ve enjoyed most is making the connections, ’cause it’s a very personable business,” Turrentine said.
Whether it’s the luster of diamond earrings or an engagement ring, there’s sentiment behind each purchase. The pieces can turn into symbols of love or cherished family mementos handed down through generations. Turrentine said that’s what keeps customers coming back even beyond the sale.
“When you have people bringing in pictures of their honeymoon or bringing their first baby in just so you could meet them, you know you’ve made that connection to a person,” Turrentine said.
But he said it’s time for a new chapter in his life.
“I’m going to go back into real estate and building, was a builder before we, Tom and I purchased this. And it’s just something I’ve been thinking about the last few years, and it’s just as far as time to make that change,” Turrentine said.
The store, located on 28th Street across from the Woodland Mall, will close on May 27. It is currently holding a going-out-of-business sale, with merchandise up to 60 percent off. Among that merchandise is between 450 and 500 engagement rings.