Classic Jewellery, Nanimahoo’s Native Art Gallery to close this winter

Richard Munroe (left) and his wife Val (center) pose with long-time employees Irma (behind the counter) and Irene on Saturday. David F. Rooney photo

By David F. Rooney

The city’s only jewellery store, Classic Jewellery, is closing its doors for good this winter.

Richard Munroe, whose wife Val started the business 16 years ago, said he wants to sell the business and the building at 114 First Street West it has occupied since 1994 before March 31.

Val has been ill for some time and Richard said that at this point in their lives running the business is just too much.

“A number of people have approached me about the building and we’ve had a few feelers about the business,” he said in an interview on Saturday. “We’d really like to do something about the stock.”

Classic Jewellery has about $250,000 in jewellery and giftware in stock. It is currently offering 30 per cent off everything in the store.

Ultimately, everything will go, and that includes staff like Irene Firomski who has worked at Classic Jewellery for the last 10 years.

“I can’t imagine the city without a jewellery store,” she said.

And where will people get their watch batteries changed, Richard wondered.

“Irene,” he joked, “you’ll just have to start changing them at home.”

Classic Jewellery will not be the only firm closing its doors this winter.

Nanimahoo’s Native Art Gallery at 111 First Street West will be closed by mid-February, owner and sculptress Audrey Nanimahoo announced in an e-mail to friends and patrons.

“It was my choice, because I have not had any time to give to my sculpting,” she said. “I really have not had time since July to do much carving. Going to shows, carving, and manning the gallery is way too much to handle. After five years of doing that something had to give.

“So, with that we are closing with a huge 50 per cent markdown on everything in the gallery. If there was anything that you had liked in the past then now is the time to get it.”

Nanimahoo said she would continue to sculpt and sell her work locally through art exhibitions. She will also be selling her work through the Stara D Arts gallery in Laguna Beach, Calif.