Fred Shrode plans to close his family’s business after 80 years downtown.
The oldest store on Main Street, and possibly the longest standing business in the city of Sarasota, will close its doors in 2017.
Shrode Jewelers doesn’t have a specific closing date, but owner Fred Shrode plans to retire after the holidays. The move comes 80 years after the storefront opened downtown.
“It’s just time,” said Shrode, who took over the business when his father, Karl Shrode Sr., died in 1975.
Shrode hasn’t decided what will become of 1,850-square-foot building at 1433 Main Street, which was built in 1924, but said it’s unlikely a new jeweler would move in.
The 65-year-old entrepreneur plans to buy a small piece of property in the country, where he can raise pygmy goats, chickens and buy a horse or two for his grandchildren. He’ll also have more time to spend cultivating his collection of orchids.
Despite the seasonal nature of business in Sarasota, Shrode credits advice from his father for the store’s longevity.
“The most important thing my father stressed was your integrity,” Shrode said. “As long as you have integrity, you will always have good business.”
About 18 years ago, Shrode got a call from a fellow Sarasota jeweler offering a diamond Piajet watch for sale for $2,000.
He thought it was a great price, but when he saw the watch, he noticed a unique jade and diamond dial and knew it belonged to one of his longtime patrons. After calling her up, Shrode found out her home near the bayfront had been burglarized, and the Sarasota Police Department soon reunited her with the piece.
“We’ve always been a family-owned jewelry store, and our customers have always been like family to us,” Shrode said. “And what I’m going to miss the most is the wonderful relationships I’ve built up with my customers.”