After 129 years, Marshalls Jewelers in downtown San Luis Obispo is closing its doors at the end of December.
“It’s bittersweet, but I’m going,” Marshalls Jewelers Owner Jeff McKeegan said.
The reason the store is closing, McKeegan said, is because it’s time for him and his husband to take some much needed time off.
“Business has been good, the economy has been good so we figured we might as well, we’ll do it now,” McKeegan said.
He said there was never a decision on whether or not to sell the store. Although McKeegan said there was some interest in the store and he is still opened to selling it, as of now he and his husband are going.
The building where the jewelry store is located will not go for sale. McKeegan said the building belongs to his former boss, when he died the store was put in his former bosses trust, where it will stay for several years.
As for his time working at the jewelry store, McKeegan said he has no regrets.
He started working there when he was in his 20s “working with the new technology of computers in the office, and quickly expanded to management tasks.” He said he knew nothing about jewelry but after learning about the business he got sucked in and eventually he got to a position where he was able to buy the store.
McKeegan has sold jewelry to people all over the San Luis Obispo community for generations.
“We had a young man in here the other day, 16 years old, came in said he wanted to buy an engagement ring,” McKeegan said. “He said I don’t have a girlfriend but he goes, but my family has always bought their engagement rings here and I’ll be the fifth generation and I want to have a ring when I find the right girl.”
Overall he said the business has been incredibly rewarding, but he looks forward to having some much needed time off and traveling the world with his husband of 41 years.
This story has been corrected from a previous version that incorrectly identified McKeegan’s partner and when he began working at Marshalls.