Dubuque jeweler shines bright with opening of new location

A longtime local jeweler has opened its new location near a high-profile Dubuque intersection.

James Martin Jewelers this week opened its doors at 4340 Asbury Road, near the Northwest Arterial and next to Church of the Resurrection. The move first was announced last year, but owners said plans have been in the works much longer.

“For 10 years, we’ve been zeroing in on finding a new home, a permanent home for James Martin Jewelers, and we’ve definitely found that here,” said co-owner Lucas Doland. “We still have a little work to do, but overall, it’s everything we wanted it to be.”

James Martin Jewelers first opened in Dubuque in 1983. It has moved several times but most recently operated out of a storefront at 1640 John F. Kennedy Road, next to Jimmy John’s.

The store sells rings, earrings, pendants and watches and also offers jewelry cleaning, repairs and restoration, among other items and in-house services.

The new location expands the store’s capacity in all aspects, Doland said, and includes a larger showroom and additional space for employee offices and workshop space.

“We have enough room in the back now to not be all squeezed together, which is great,” Doland said. “And the flow of the store is a lot more conducive to making sure customers can get around and see everything we have to offer.”

Doland co-owns the business with his father, Mike Doland, and two brothers, Nick and Will Doland. The family bought the business from James Hefel, store co-founder and sole owner of the business from 1990 until his death in 2013.

The Dolands also own Doland Jewelers at 1735 John F. Kennedy Road.

The new James Martin Jewelers location includes new display cases with additional space to spread out the jewelry pieces and hold one-on-one consultations with customers.

There also is a private viewing space and an expanded area for the store’s “Something Borrowed” experience, which allows brides-to-be whose engagement and wedding rings came from James Martin Jewelers to borrow up to $25,000 in jewelry for their wedding day.

“We’ll have a little bit more space now for brides who want to come in and try the different pieces on with their dress,” Lucas Doland said. “It’s just a really fun time because the bride can get all dressed up and try on anything she likes.”

The new building is roughly 8,800 square feet, of which James Martin Jewelers will take up about 4,800. Doland said the remaining 4,000 square feet will be leased to a new restaurant, Roses and Berries.

Owners for that business could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon, and Doland was not yet aware of a planned opening date.

Molly Grover, president and CEO of Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, said the jeweler’s new location was a prime example of the type of small business growth that is “vital” to the local and national economy.

She added the news of a new restaurant similarly was exciting, commending the business relationship that has been built between the building’s occupants.

“Economic growth stimulates economic growth,” she said. “The success of small businesses like (James Martin Jewelers) is what allows our business scene to keep growing.”

An official grand opening ceremony will be held for the store in early November, Doland said, but the store now is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays.