It’s been an uphill battle for Reid Avenue’s newest business.
Estate Jewelry and Loan has opened its doors on Reid after months of construction and remodeling.
Lit up for the holidays and open late during the Christmas on the Coast celebration, the jewelry store has a spacious and well-lit aesthetic, despite long months of the windows being covered in brown paper.
After months of preparation, owner Nicholas DiLallo said he was happy to finally open his store.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback,” said DiLallo. “People seem to like the idea of having a real jewelry store.”
DiLallo’s jewelry store came under scrutiny when he went before city commissioners in August seeking a pawn license be approved.
DiLallo, who recently moved to Port St. Joe from Miami with his wife, Theresa, has worked in pawn shops nearly his entire life, and though his primary goal was to open a jewelry store, he also wanted to provide loan services to the community.
Hesitant to bring pawn services to the community, DiLallo’s initial request for the license was tabled and Mayor Mel Magidson encouraged local merchants to speak with DiLallo about his plans for the store and to go see the building he had purchased.
“What we’re doing shouldn’t be a mystery,” said DiLallo.
DiLallo said that he wanted his family and business to be part of the community and was happy to have other merchants weigh in. After receiving zero negative feedback toward his plans, the pawn license was approved without additional conversation and DiLallo’s business continued as planned.
“Pawn is not our main business,” said DiLallo. “It’s hard times and sometimes people need a couple of bucks to get through.
“We’re happy to help people who need help when they need it.”
The shop, situated next door to Joseph’s Cottage is focused on jewelry and hard-to-find collectibles that include sports memorabilia, bronzes and paintings.
DiLallo believes that his store should be a stop on anyone’s holiday shopping trip.
“We have jewelry from $10 and up,” said DiLallo. “You’ll find a great Christmas present here.”
In order to welcome members of the community through his doors, DiLallo has kept later business hours and he and Theresa said they were pleased with the amount of traffic that has come through.
During the Christmas on the Coast celebration, the mayor even visited to officially welcome the DiLallos to the community.
“People seem happy to see us,” said Theresa. “There hasn’t been a jewelry store in Port St. Joe since the ‘70s. We’re here for everyone and we want everyone to feel welcome.”
DiLallo and his wife, Theresa, vacationed to Gulf County three times a year for the last eight years. Like many visitors to the area, they fell in love with the beaches, weather and a community that was smaller and tightly knit.
Over the summer the couple relocated to Gulf County and officially completed the process of becoming residents.
“We’ve taken all our assets from Miami. I’m not an out-of-towner anymore!” laughed DiLallo.
DiLallo said that he has joined the Chamber of Commerce and a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in the near future.
Estate Jewelry and Loan is located at 401 Reid Ave in Port St. Joe.