Krumrich-Manke and her husband Dick stand near the counter
of Krumrich's Jewelers, 234 W. Main St. The store will close
its doors after 110 years in business Dec. 31.
- In its 110 years in business, Krumrich’s Jewelers experienced
its fair share of change.
1906, when Joseph Krumrich opened the family- owned business on
Main Street in Oshkosh to 1958, when it moved about 80 miles south
to downtown Waukesha, the shop has always been there to see the
surrounding environment transform.
2006, Donna Krumrich-Manke and her husband, Dick, took over the
business from then-owner Joan Krumrich-Marx, who headed into
retirement shortly after the jewelry store’s 100th anniversary.
it’s time for Krumrich’s to say goodbye.
store, at 234 W. Main St., will close its doors for good Dec. 31,
leaving behind a legacy in Waukesha that few, if any, can grasp.
The couple plans to coast into retirement at the end of the year.
makes me feel honored to have been able to serve the community for
all these years and to have the people in the community continue
to be loyal to us and come here and let us be their jeweler,
it’s been awesome,” Donna said. “Even through the tough
times, we’ve been able to help (customers) with even the little
businesses react to closure
feeling of looking out his front door and not seeing the lights of
Krumrich’s on is especially bittersweet for Norm Bruce, the
owner of nearby Martha Merrell’s Books & Toys, 231 W. Main
some pain in it for me,” Bruce, who’s also the president of
the Waukesha Downtown Business Association, said. “But at the
same time, I have to celebrate that they’ve been here for that
long and made such a commitment to Waukesha.”
said that he will miss Krumrich’s for various reasons, but
mostly because of the dedication that’s been bestowed onto the
community by Donna and Dick and the things the family has done to
give back to downtown businesses. “It
will be hard without a business like Krumrich’s and their
support, they’ve been involved for the longest time with Friday
Night Live,” he said.
much of the same feeling for Roger and Carrie Igielski, who own
neighboring Allo! Chocolat, 234 W. Main St. The two candy store
owners celebrated a decade downtown in September. And all the
while the duo felt at home, which is partly due to the welcoming
personalities of their next-door neighbors, Roger said.
friends of ours that we’ve known for the last 10 years since
we’ve been here,” he said. “We’ll miss Dick and Donna
personally. They’re great people, great friends and great
relationships that have been built with not only returning
customers, but also downtown businesses such as Allo! and Martha
Merrell’s is among the things at the top of the list of which
Donna said she will miss the most.
become family through all the different activities and
everything,” the Pewaukee resident said. “I’m very proud of
what we’ve accomplished down here along with the other
merchants, and I’m very honored to have done so. It means a lot
who will turn 81 next month, said he was around in Waukesha during
the 1950s when there were five jewelry stores in the area. To be
one of the last left standing and consider the transformation of
the area and retail business in general during the store’s run
has been a whirlwind experience, he said.
very hard for a small business to survive with the (online)
business shipping in the day after they ordered it,” Dick said.
its astounding run, Donna took the role of the jeweler, while Dick
spent time as the store’s “bookkeeper.” Donna said running a
historic store in a such a changing climate has helped her expand
day is a learning experience,” she said. “Every time that door
opens, it’s a different person with a different want, need or
desire and every time they leave, it’s a happy place to be.”
they are exiting that very business community that’s become
home, she said they won’t be strangers to downtown. Instead,
Donna and Dick will continue supporting the downtown that’s
helped them thrive through the years, just from the other side of
going to do a little bit more volunteering,” Dick, who spent 28
years on the Waukesha County Board, said. “There have been a lot
of great people, a lot of great people. It’s been fun.”
added she is eager to see what the future holds and looks forward
to keeping in touch with those that have contributed toward their
many years of success.
looking forward to being on the other side of Friday Night
Live,” she said. “To actually be in the street rather than in
here; I think we’ll have some fun.”
is having a “Going Out of Business Sale,” with customers
receiving 75 percent off all items in the store until it closes.