‘It’s been a good ride’: Wilmington family-owned business closing its doors after 70+ years

After 73 years and two generations, a family-owned business in Wilmington is closing next month.
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After 73 years and two generations, a family-owned business in Wilmington is closing next month (Photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After 73 years and two generations, a family-owned business in Wilmington is closing next month.

Albert F. Rhodes Jewelers will close its doors for the last time on February 18.

The store was opened in 1948 by Albert Rhodes as a watch repair shop downtown. Over the years, his business grew into a jewelry retailer.

When Rhodes died in 1989 two of his children, Wayne Rhodes and Betsy Herring, took over and eventually moved the business to Midtown.

“There’s not so many family businesses anymore, not like there used to be. People like that, at least that’s our perception,” Wayne Rhodes said.

The two say the decision to retire was difficult to make, but the time is right and they are grateful for the decades worth of happy memories.

“We were working with people’s engagements, when babies came, Christmas presents, helping people find special gifts for special occasions, so it’s been a joyful business,” Betsy Herring said. “We’re happy to be retiring, but it’s sad and bittersweet and we’ll miss the people. We’re very fortunate and blessed to have been a part of the community for so long.”

With the extra time on their hands, Rhodes and Herring say they look forward to spending more time with family, volunteering, and traveling.

The siblings hate to retire their father’s name, but they hope it leaves a positive legacy behind.

“We feel very blessed to be a part of it and we think he did a good job starting it and giving us the foundation to grow,” Herring said. “We feel like he did that very well. We worked hard and we feel like he would be proud of us.”

Categories: Local, New Hanover, New Hanover, Top Stories

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