Connecticut Jeweler Closing After Nearly 60 Years

Louise and Joe Hebert, owners of Hebert Jewelers
in Milford, Conn.
, did not take closing their 58-year-old store lightly.

Several factors—including the escalating prices
of gold and diamonds and the recent implementation of a state luxury tax on
any jewelry item above $5,000—led the pair to finally decide to close up
shop in early October.

“It’s really time for a change,” Louise tells JCK.
“We’re ready to move on to the next chapter.”

Louise’s father-in-law founded the business in
1953 and it’s been in the family’s hands every since. The couple has also been
active in the Milford Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Downtown Milford
Business Association.

“They have been for many years an institution in downtown Milford,” Robert Gregory, community and economic development director
for Milford, tells JCK. “It’s very sad to see them close.”

Gregory says that both Louise and Joe have been
president of the association at one time or another and have always volunteered
to help out with promotions for the area.

In fact, Louise is currently chairing the Open Doors of Downtown Milford Art Exhibit.
The event showcases artists’ work on repurposed doors and windows that are set
up around downtown for the community to enjoy. The artwork will then be
auctioned off in September with the proceeds going toward services for domestic
violence.

“They have been stalwarts in regards to promoting
local businesses,” says Gregory. “Their loss is going to leave a big hole in
downtown Milford.”

Working with those organizations, as well as the
community that they serve, is what the Heberts are going to miss the most.

“The outpouring of emotion from public has been
absolutely incredible,” says Louise. “I could cry about it right now—we just
had no idea.”

The Hebert’s daughter, Rebecca, who works in the
store, is actively looking for new opportunities, and they have explored a few
options themselves, but nothing they are ready to talk about publicly.

The store is hosting a going-out-of-business
sale
, and Louise and Joe have been working with a team from Wilkerson’s, who Joe called “fun
and knowledgeable,” to help the family close out the store.

“It was a good run for us,” says Joe. “We’re just
gettin’ while the gettin’s good.”