By Michelle Caceres
Martin’s Jewelers, the iconic store that has served the Brandon area for 62 years, has shuttered its doors. Customers looking for the same level of superior craftsmanship will be pleased to learn that McAuley Fine Jewelry will continue in its place, with many of the same staff ready to provide the superior level of service and workmanship that Martin’s customers have come to expect from the store.
These include watch repairman Mike Martin (Joe’s cousin), who has more than 33 years’ experience, store manager Don Korte, a local artisan with 46 years’ experience, Rob Comfort, a third generation master jeweler with more than 37 years’ experience (17 of those at Martin’s Jewelers) that specializes in custom pieces, Seudatt “Deo” Gajadhar, a bench jeweler with more than 50 years’ experience (18 with Martin’s) and an accomplished goldsmith, Wayne Simmons, whose 31 years’ experience is reflected in his outstanding work and Pam Simmons (Joe’s daughter), who has been in the business for 15 years.
McAuley Fine Jewelry, located at 664 Oakfield Dr. in the Atlantic Village Shopping Center on the corner of Kings Ave. and Oakfield Dr., is owned by Ed McAuley, who spent a decade as Martin’s’ assistant manager before taking over the mantle of owner.
His journey to the jewelry trade wound through other professions.
“I’ve sold things from insurance to appliances, but was miserable because these were things customers had to buy,” said McAuley.
Lutz resident Michelle Townsend was referred to McAuley when she was in the market for a piece of custom jewelry. Her mother, who passed away in 2004, had left her several pieces of jewelry and she wanted to use them to create a wedding ring set for her anniversary.
“Ed was able to take the idea that was in my head and construct it into a tangible thing,” she said.
Townsend was so pleased she’s already thinking about her next custom piece. ‘McAuley Fine Jewelry specializes in custom design work and is definitely the store I will be turning to,” she commented. The shop also specializes in jewelry repairs.
“Martin’s was so successful for so long because customers trusted us to take care of their jewelry that same way we would take care of our mom’s,” said McAuley. McAuley Fine Jewelry is open Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Visit www.mcauleyfinejewelry.com, call 689-8124 or visit its Facebook page at McAuley Fine Jewelry.