'I really love the customers': Cork jeweller set to retire in 2022 after 43 years in business

'I really love the customers': Cork jeweller set to retire in 2022 after 43 years in business

Stephen and Mary Gleeson at Stephen Gleeson Jewellers at 11 Castle St. Pic Larry Cummins

Stephen Gleeson of Stephen Gleeson Jewellers is set to retire next year after 43 years trading on Castle Street in the city centre.

News of owners Stephen and Mary Gleeson’s planned retirement was met with an influx of customers visiting the shop in recent days in support of the couple.

Last Wednesday saw queues of customers, both old and new, lining the street.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Gleeson said it was “fabulous” to see so many people and that customers were “very nice and very obliging”.

He said that the queues on Wednesday for their retirement sale didn't end until 5.20pm after they opened at 9am, closing at 7pm.

“The queues didn’t end until 5.20pm. It was unbelievable. At one stage it was down past Fast Als."

Mr Gleeson said that when they finish he will miss his customers who, he said, the couple have had “great craic with” down through the years.

“We have great craic with the customers, they’re fantastic. I really love the customers,” he said.

“I always have plenty of time for every customer. They might come in for a watch, and if they look for me I will always go out to meet them, because it’s your name over the door and you have to be seen there.”

“Customers want to come into me for the small things as well as the big things, it all makes a difference and that’s how you build up loyal customers,” he said.

Stephen and Mary Gleeson at Stephen Gleeson Jewellers at 11 Castle St, Cork.
Stephen and Mary Gleeson at Stephen Gleeson Jewellers at 11 Castle St, Cork.

After 50 years in the jewellery business and 43 years on Castle Street, he said that he looks forward to his retirement and that he will be “kept going with many projects”.

He said that he will leave with fond memories of the place where his family’s three children were reared.

“It was the best education ever,” he said.

“They’ve seen things in here they wouldn’t even see in life. They got great value out of it and it was great training.”

He said that while the shop was important to him, that family was everything and that his work never came home with him.

“The first year I opened, the children were very young,” he said. 

“I opened on June 17, and August came and I closed the shop for a week to take the children on holidays down to Tramore, and they all said I was mad and couldn’t do that after opening the shop for six weeks and close again, but it worked out.”

This article was edited to reflect the fact that Stephen Gleeson Jewellers continues to trade and will be trading into 2022. Our article initially said the business had closed its doors and we are happy to clarify that this is not the case. 

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