Business

"After 55 years, Goldberg's will close its doors"

"On the marquee above the Silverdale store, the 'o' in Goldberg's Jewelers was replaced by a diamond. But there will be nothing to replace the store when it closes next month.After 55 years of convincing Bremerton and Silverdale that diamonds are everyone's best friend, Goldberg's Jewelers will shut its doors, ending a four generation legacy of selling the finer things in life. It gives pleasure and happiness to buy jewelry, said Wynne Littman, who owns Goldberg's with her husband Charlie. It's not like a dress that doesn't fit after awhile. Wynne can remember working at jewelry stores since she was old enough to stand behind a cash register. The first Goldberg's Jewelers, originally called Weisfield and Goldberg's, opened in 1945 on Pacific Avenue in Bremerton. Wynne's father Ed, who grew up in a Seattle pawnshop with his father, ran the store. Ed later opened his own store in Bremerton, then expanded to Silverdale in anticipation of the construction of Subase Bangor. Charlie and Wynne, who had moved to Denver, returned to Bremerton when Wynne's father became ill in 1973. They took over the company and consolidated to the present Kitsap Place location.After more than five decades of selling jewelry to a small community, the past is staring to come back and say hello to the Littmans one last time. Wynne recently received a letter from a woman who won a watch from Goldberg's in 1948 for writing a rhyme about the store. Enclosed was the letter the woman received from Wynne's father and the entry the woman sent in to receive the prize.We've made so many friends, Wynne said. It's always been an adventure and we've always treated it as so.The Littmans said some customers are coming in just to get something before the store closes. They also are planning a customer reunion party for Aug. 7, the day the store is set to close. Time - and the Internet - has changed the jewelry business in many ways. The prevalence of online shopping may be enticing for shoppers, but to the Littmans nothing beats picking out something special in person.When you want to fix your car, you go to a car mechanic. That's how it is with buying jewelry, Wynne said. You go to an expert in the field. The Littmans aren't worried about keeping up with the Internet anymore. They plan to travel and relax. They are going to Europe, where Wynne has gone many times on buying trips, and where Charlie plans to look into their possible Irish heritage.He thinks I'm Irish. He thinks he's Irish. I don't think we are, Wynne said.Wynne said she will continue to design jewelry and sell it on the Internet, but the Littmans want to slow down. They said they are retiring primarily for health reasons.The doctors said quit, so that's what we're doing, Wynne said.The Littmans didn't want to sell the store either, because they have two children and one eventually might revive the business. But for now, they said it was time to close the business they love, no matter how hard it may be. It's a little emotional, Charlie said. The community has been really good to us."

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