When Edwin A. Grebitus Sr. and his wife Dorothy opened a Sacramento jewelry store in 1926, the business enjoyed steady success. But the young couple had ambitious plans for the store to be known for more than just fine jewelry.
Adding elegant gift displays to the original Sacramento location set Grebitus apart from other jewelry stores. Now 88 years later, that original concept by its founders continues to distance Grebitus Jewelers from its competition.
The Grebitus legacy now includes Folsom, where its newest store is located in the Palladio at Broadstone.
Ted Grebitus, who represents a third generation of the family-owned business, oversees the Folsom store and two others. He marvels at what his grandparents established.
“My grandfather was very knowledgeable regarding watches and jewelry. My grandmother knew quite a bit about bridal registry and fine giftware – like Waterford crystal. So they established a gift department that added another dimension to the jewelry store,” Ted said. “They knew if they created the finest selection possible, people would hear about it and come to Grebitus and shop.”
Getting the best that was available was not easy in 1926, before airlines made cross-country travel an accommodating journey. However, that didn’t stop Edwin and Dorothy, who regularly traveled by train to New York and came back to Sacramento with the latest in jewelry, Swiss watches and gifts.
Several of the working relationships that his grandparents formed with various upscale East Coast merchants and the finest diamond cutters remain in place today for Ted Grebitus, who continues to offer Rolex watches, Mikimoto pearls, Baccarat crystal, Lazare diamonds, and other exquisite merchandise – all under one roof.
“It’s almost 90 years later and I’m still doing business with people my grandparents dealt with on the East Coast!” Ted says with pride. “We still live by the motto that if we don’t have it, we’ll go out and find it for you. You can find things at Grebitus that you won’t find anywhere else.”
Ted learned the family business from his grandfather and father, Ed Grebitus Jr. Ed Jr. was born the same year the jewelry store was established and became part of the firm after serving in the Navy during World War II. After graduating from University of California, Berkeley, he quickly made an impact, developing additional expertise in the field of gemology.
During his time at the Grebitus helm, Ed Jr. added an accredited Gemological Laboratory, became a leading seller of the famous Lazare Ideal Cut Diamonds, and was a well known Sacramento business leader. Today the firm continues as a proud member of the American Gem Society with certified gemologists.
Exposed to business at a young age, it didn’t take long for Ted to gravitate toward a full-time position working for his father, who is now age 88 and still serves as honorary chairman of the board.
“We appreciate the customers that still come in and have dealt with my grandparents, my parents, and now with us. I cherish that!” Ted said. “I have grown up knowing them, and now I’m old enough that I’m seeing the next generation shopping at Grebitus.”
Like his predecessors, Ted has a natural gift for recognizing artistic integrity and developed a shrewd instinct and passion for purchasing new and unusual items to help maintain the Grebitus inventory of fine jewelry and specialty merchandise.
Ted is assisted in this effort by the firm’s gift buyer, Lisa Dufficy. She worked closely with Ted’s mother and continues the tradition of seeking out one-of-a-kind items.
“Our challenge is to find and bring unique items to our customers,” Dufficy said. “Many of these are from Europe and Asia and represent the quality manufacturing traditions of old used by pewter and silversmiths, porcelain and pottery makers.”
The Grebitus store in Folsom is a feast for the eyes to anyone who appreciates fine jewelry and unique merchandise.
Upon entering the Folsom store, visitors typically gravitate toward the impressive Rolex display. Many of the superbly crafted Swiss watches are located in the new lofty room featuring a massive 12-foot high Italian-marble wall that serves as a backdrop. The intent is to draw customers into a world of watches that is unparalleled in craftsmanship and service.
Grebitus has what is believed to be the oldest Rolex account in the U.S., dating back to the 1940s. As exclusive agents for Rolex in Sacramento and now Folsom, Grebitus is also a designated service center in Sacramento that can handle any type of cleaning or repair.
The Grebitus inventory also includes jewelry for all occasions. Quality and unique designs are Grebitus trademarks. For someone wanting an item with even more exclusivity, Grebitus will put its custom design skills to work.
The Folsom store represents a new concept for Grebitus. Ted describes it as a European style of merchandising.
“We encourage our customers to take time to discover and learn about the items. Not all is readily visible and as we find out someone’s interests we love to bring out additional items in that category,” Ted said.
Specialty items available are quite diverse and include Chinese spice jars – which are becoming scarce – leather jewelry boxes, contemporary clocks, fine crystal and barware, picture frames, letter openers, pens, serving trays, an array of baby gifts, art glass, and much more.
“People come into our store, and they want to buy something nice for themselves as a personal statement, or as a gift,” Ted said. “Our customers are pleasantly surprised at how well many of our items are priced. Grebitus literally has something for everyone, both contemporary and traditional.”
For more information on Grebitus visit grebitus.com