RIVERVIEW — Jim McGowan had been looking for a new home for his business for quite some time.
When he discovered Winthrop Town Centre, he knew he'd found exactly what he was looking for. JB Jewelers, the business he co-founded nearly 14 years ago, opened this week in its new location.
The former location, in Brandon's Oak Park Plaza on the corner of Kings Avenue and Lumsden Road, had seen a decline in business in recent years, McGowan said. Winthrop Town Centre, at Providence Road and W Bloomingdale Avenue, offered not only a thriving business environment but an ambience perfect for his shop.
"People are walking around here almost 24 hours a day, it seems," McGowan said. "We're going to have to start staying open later at night."
The move also necessitated a name change. The full name of the business had been JB International Jewelers of Brandon. Since reopening, the name has been shortened to JB Jewelers. (The "B" in the name is the initial of McGowan's former partner.)
McGowan, who has worked his entire adult life in the jewelry business, runs JB Jewelers with his wife, Judy, and his sons Dan and Ben. They offer everything from inexpensive colored gemstones to custom designed gold and diamond pieces. It's one of the largest estate jewelers in Florida. Prices range from $5 to $500,000, McGowan said.
One reason for the success, McGowan said, is that it has always sold quality merchandise and dealt honestly with its clientele. That's especially essential now, he said, because technology allows customers to educate themselves almost instantly. The more educated customers better appreciate the quality merchandise and service that JB Jewelers offers, McGowan said.
JB Jewelers is at 6120 Winthrop Town Centre Ave., next to the Acropolis. Call (813) 655-5655.
New farmers market stops at train depot
PLANT CITY — Every couple of weekends, downtown Plant City buzzes with activity from the Bike Fest and the Classic Car Show on the first and third Saturdays of each month, respectively.
A group of downtown business owners hopes to bring more weekend visitors by inaugurating a weekly farmers market, starting March 31, at the Historic Plant City Train Depot at 102 N Palmer St.
"This is just the start," said Ray Young, who helped organize the new Downtown Plant City Merchants & Business Association, the sponsor of the market. "We hope that it will expand and we'll need to move into McCall Park."
McCall Park is home to both the Bike Fest and the Classic Car Show, and the farmers market will never displace those, Young said. He hopes the events can augment each other.
The association patterned the market after one in Boca Grande. Farmers from the Plant City area will offer produce straight from their fields.
The market will be open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturdays.
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