A local jewelry store is back in business following an unscheduled winter break.
Busch Jewelers recently reopened after sustaining heavy water damage to its storefront at 1960 Pawlisch Drive on Christmas Day.
“What happened is our sprinkler system froze, burst and then it activated all of the sprinklers,” Busch Jewelers President and CEO Mitch Busch said. “We had a good five to seven inches of standing water. It was literally a downpour in here.”
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Busch said the store’s ceiling, electrical system and carpeting were all damaged and had to be replaced.
Damage to the building, which Busch owns, was approximately $100,000.
“We’ve been working like beavers from the (December) 26th on,” Busch said. “All of the contractors that we hired were fantastic and came through.”
When the store resumed its regular business hours on Saturday morning, a line of eager customers was ready to shop.
“We had about 15 people waiting to get in,” Busch said. “We had the snowstorm, and we thought that would slow us down but it didn’t. The customers kept on coming.”
Busch Jewelers was originally based in Michigan but relocated to 213 W. State St., in Rockford, in 1927.
The business opened a second store at CherryVale Mall in 1976 and closed its downtown location about two years later.
Busch Jewelers moved into its existing building near CherryVale Mall in 1987.
Mitch Busch has been part of the family business for 56 years and said the events of the past month are unprecedented.
“We’ve never had any problem like that ever before,” he said. “We’ve had the pandemic, of course. We’ve had armed robberies, but never anything like burst pipes.”
Ken DeCoster covers business news and features. Contact him at 815-987-1391, [email protected] or @DeCosterKen.
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