SPECIAL TO OCALA STYLE
By Guy Lemieux
The year was 1980. I was working at my parent’s restaurant, The Rustic Inn, in Ocala and my future wife, Elaine, was working at her parent’s restaurant in Phelps, Kentucky. Gold rose to over $800 an ounce and silver to $50 an ounce. A customer in our restaurant asked me if I knew where he could sell his silver. I was able to find someone to buy his entire collection and was paid $50 for my assistance. That very moment I knew I had found my career.
Ocala was very small — I was able to go door to door and ask my neighbors if they had any gold or silver they wanted to sell. Sometimes I would run into stones I was not familiar with, so I would go into the local Zales Jewelers on Silver Springs Blvd., to ask for help. After a few visits, the manager said, “Since you enjoy jewelry so much, why don’t you come work for us?”
He didn’t have to ask twice.
Things went very well and I soon became the youngest manager of the Zales Corporation. Elaine had three uncles in the jewelry business. One of them told her about an old jeweler who operated a store in Prestonburg, Kentucky, for over 40 years and wanted to retire. After seeing the business, she decided to purchase it.
We were now both out of the restaurant business and into the jewelry business. Being three states apart, who would have thought that seven years later, we would meet?
In 1983 I was told that we were going to close the Zales store on Silver Springs Blvd. and I was to open the Zales store in the Paddock Mall. Ocala finally had a mall. After watching the jeweler in our store set diamonds, I knew that’s what I wanted to learn, so I went to Stewart’s International School for Jewelers. After graduating, with the help of my two brothers, we built a kiosk to be put in the middle of the Paddock Mall, called Paddock Jewelry Repair.
A few years later, a company approached me to buy my store. They made me an offer I could not refuse, so I sold it.
A little later, I opened a small jewelry store in Rheinauer’s. I was now designing much finer pieces of jewelry and started importing colored stones. After a few years, I decided to sell my store and take some time off. Meanwhile, back in Kentucky, Elaine was working on her diamond grading course, and her parents were talking about moving to Florida.
Now comes the great part. Since I was not working, I went to Too Your Health Spa to work out. There I saw the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.
You see, in 1989, Elaine had moved her store to the Friendship Center in Ocala. She told me she was having a hard time finding a good jeweler. I could not believe my ears. It must have been fate. In 1992 we were married.
As Ocala grew, we had to expand our store to twice its size. We were blessed the day our manager, Brandon Jones, walked into our store and applied for a job. With his help and diamond knowledge, we became one of the most successful jewelry stores in Florida.
We knew our ten-year lease would expire soon, so we had to make a decision. The decision was to buy our own free-standing building. We’ve been at this new location on State Road 200 for four years now and are still growing.
This past year, Elaine thought our last name should be associated with our store. Even though Hopson Quality Jewelers had become a well-known and well-respected name in the industry, the change was necessary. We soon became known as Lemieux Diamond Company.
We want people to know, since 1989, we have been unsurpassed in Ocala when it comes to diamonds, fine Swiss watch repairs, and customer service.
Each week I tell my co-workers in our weekly meetings that there is not a single store in the country that will give better service than we do. We are always honest and frank with our clients. Customer service isn’t about the sale — it’s about how you treat your customers.
When a piece of jewelry is purchased, whether it is worth $100 or several thousands, it is beautifully packaged and presented in our dark-blue Lemieux box. Each box is embellished in our Lemieux ribbon and wrapped in our signature tissue. It’s all about presentation for the person receiving the gift.
All of our customers can rest assured, that when you leave your diamond at Lemieux Diamond Company, it is the same stone that is returned to you. We are one of the few jewelry stores that do a detailed mapping of your diamond, under a powerful microscope. If you have never seen your diamond under a microscope, you must stop in our store.
Another great aspect of our store is our fine Swiss watch repair center. Since opening our small parts account with Rolex Watch U.S.A, our watch technician is on premise and services your Rolex watch using only genuine Rolex parts. We also service all other fine Swiss watches, such as, Omega, Cartier, Patek Phillipe, and complicated chronographs.
We make our customers feel like they’ve walked into someplace special — because they did. By the time they exit Lemieux Diamond Company, they leave feeling satisfied, knowing that they were given exceptional service and an exceptional product. That’s our guarantee to you.
Lemieux Diamond Company
7605 Southwest SR200, Ocala