Another independent locally owned Victoria business is closing its doors after nearly 70 years in business.
Van Isle Jewellers at the corner of Blanshard and View streets made the difficult decision to close up shop after struggling for the past few years to stay afloat. The multi-generational family business first opened its doors in 1948, the efforts of three young men, Belton Turner, Cliff Duckworth and James Munro who began by working out of a single-room workshop on Yates Street.
When they retired in 1991, James Munro’s son Kenn Munro, took the reins after having been at his father’s side learning the ropes since he was five years old. Under the tutelage of Kenn, Van Isle Jewellers expanded to its current location at 1126 Blanshard St. and added a showroom.
The sad news last week of Kenn’s unexpected passing after a brief illness, was the heartbreaking factor that led to the final decision.
Store manager Cathy Scott has been employed with Van Isle for over 35 years. She says Kenn was a good man and kind employer and his presence will be missed greatly, particularly by his loyal customers. The shop prided itself on genuine customer service, offering everything from custom design and fabrication to repairs, engraving, consignment and cleaning.
“Van Isle Jewellers isn’t just a store where you come to purchase off-the-shelf jewellery,” she said. “For generations, we have been part of the Victoria community as a locally owned, full-service jewellery provider.”
As the staff get ready to wind down, inventory will go on sale, some up to 70 per cent off. Van Isle Jewellers will close in December.