Historic Downtown Austin: Kruger’s Jewelers Celebrates 75 Years of Service
published on December 9, 2013
Kruger’s Jewelers has withstood the test of time, weathering not just the competition, but floods, recessions, and even wars. This historic central Austin business has made its home on the corner of 8th and Congress for nearly 75 years. While many diamond stores tout “old-fashioned customer service,” downtown Austin’s Kruger’s Jewelers defines it. The founding principle of this century-old family business was, and continues to be, an unwavering commitment to its patrons.
“We’re here to earn customers,” explained 3rd generation store owner David Kruger. “We don’t sell anything here. When a customer makes a purchase, they make the decision. That’s the way I like to be treated when I’m a customer, and that’s how I want my customers treated.”
It is that longstanding philosophy that has guided the family business for decades. Kruger’s grandfather Sam immigrated to Texas as a watchmaker over a century ago, with Sam and his brother starting a business in Fort Worth around 1906. Kruger’s grandfather moved to Wichita Falls and opened up his own store just before 1920. His father opened the Austin store in 1939. “I’ve been here since about 1969, and now my daughter works for me, so she’s 4th generation,” he said. “I like to think of us as a quintessentially local store. I was born and raised here, and my kids were born and raised here. Kruger’s Jewelers is in the same place, operated by the same family. I think that’s a testament to how we choose to do things.”
Kruger credited two factors for the incredible longevity of Kruger’s Jewelers. First, he credited the staff. He believes their dedication not only sets this family-owned business apart, but has enabled it to outlive every other store on Congress. “We have the best staff in Austin of any retail store, period. That’s what makes us different. They’re not focused on making a sale — they are focused on the customer. When people come into the store, we want it to be less of a shopping trip and more of an experience.”
Only one staff member can be catty: Kruger’s famous feline Mariposa. Her business card may say “Critter Control,” but she draws as many clients off the street as any diamond ring in the window!
The second factor he attributed to Kruger’s Jewelers’ longevity is the Austin community itself and its seven decades of support. “We take great care of them, and they take great care of us. They are the key to our success.”
Kruger’s Jewelers offers bridal and fashion jewelry, with a focus on loose diamonds and engagement rings. With two master jewelers and a laser welder onsite, they also offer exquisite custom jewelry, in addition to watch and jewelry repair. They set diamonds, reset stones, re-tip prongs, resize rings, and even re-string pearls. They also engrave, refinish, and appraise.
“After Christmas we’ll get a ton of watches in here and we’ll shorten the band. We don’t charge for it. All I’m concerned about is making customers, whether they buy from us or not. It’s what we do.”
They also give back: Kruger, his daughter Rachel, and his staff devote time and resources to local nonprofit organizations, from Big Brothers Big Sisters to Austin Area Food Bank and Meals on Wheels.
Drop by Kruger’s Jewelers this season and see what 75 years of great service looks like. The store stands at 8th and Congress, and the street address is 722 Congress Avenue. David, Rachel, Mariposa, and the rest of the staff look forward to meeting you!
Austin REALTOR® and business owner Brian Talley supports historic Austin businesses like Kruger’s Jewelers, which has served downtown Austin for nearly 75 years. He also supports Austin home-buyers as they traverse the local real estate market. Whether you are looking for a new home in Circle C or a historic home in West Austin, call on Brian.
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