Longtime Dubuque jeweler building new location

James Martin Jewelers

CURRENT ADDRESS: 1640 John F. Kennedy Road. 

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Closed on Sunday.

PHONE: 563-556-5661.

ONLINE: jamesmartinjewelers.com

A longtime Dubuque jeweler plans to move into a brand-new store in a high-profile location next year.

James Martin Jewelers, 1640 John F. Kennedy Road, is building a new store off of Asbury Road, in front of Sam’s Club and next to Resurrection Catholic Church. The move will occur within the next year.

“We kind of started our search probably early last year, and we purchased the land in December,” said Lucas Doland, co-owner of James Martin Jewelers. “We’re just kind of getting all our ducks in a row with the city and plans in order.”

Doland said he hoped crews will be able to break ground on the project on Monday, Sept. 19.

“We’ll move into it in the middle of next year, assuming construction goes to plan,” he said.

James Martin Jewelers has operated in Dubuque since 1983. James Hefel was the sole owner of the business from 1990 until 2013, the year he died. Lucas Doland co-owns the business with his father, Mike Doland, and two brothers, Nick and Will Doland.

The store sells rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets and watches, as well as engagement rings with lab-grown jewels. The business also offers services such as jewelry cleaning, repairs, restoration and engraving, all of which is done in-house.

The Doland family also own Doland Jewelers, which opened in 1986 and is located at 1735 John F. Kennedy Road. Doland Jewelers also has a location in Davenport, Iowa.

Lucas Doland said James Martin Jewelers used to be located in Asbury Square in the space that is now a Hartig Drug location. In 2009, the jeweler moved into the building next door to its current location, which now houses a tobacco store.

James Martin Jewelers has been located in its present spot since 2013.

“It’ll probably hit the 10-year mark when we’re moving,” he said. “We’ve been growing for the last few years, and while we definitely enjoy the spot that we’re in now, we’re looking to grow into a little bit larger footprint and something with some nice visibility.”

The new building will be about 8,800 square feet, of which James Martin Jewelers will take up about 4,800 square feet. Doland said there will be space for two other businesses to lease as well.

He said the main reason for the move is to give the business more space.

“We’re hoping to have a little bit easier layout for customers walking in and (it will) help us to expand our selection to some extent as well,” Doland said of the new space. “There will be more back office space for taking care of stuff. Where we’re at at the moment, all of our back office work is done in one small office. We will have more freedom there (at the new location), as well as offering nicer amenities for staff.”

He added that the space also will allow for the store to grow its employee base. Currently, James Martin Jewelers employs seven people.

Sales associate Courtney Beecher said she was excited for the move into a new space.

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said. “Having a fresh space and a fresh start will be a good thing.”

Molly Grover, president and CEO of Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, said small businesses such as James Martin Jewelers are essential to communities, and seeing new construction along Asbury Road is symbolic of economic growth and success in Dubuque.

“This is the next chapter of success for the Doland family,” Grover said. “They are a well-known and trusted name in small business. They have been in the Dubuque business community for a long time. I think their business brand is so trusted and respected because they are about more than delivering a product — they’re about building a community.”