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Gem Den settling into new digs along First Avenue South

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

After 45 years along the north side of First Ave., the Gem Den is now getting comfortable with their new location along the south side, following a transition to the former Polo's building.

"Everything went fantastic," said Gem Den owner Ed Mays. "We wanted to get everything moved within three days. We had three different groups of people come in to help us move."

The only slight blip in the plan was with the safe that had to be moved across the street.

Even with the move taking place around Christmas—a busy time for the Gem Den—Mays says the store had great success over the holiday season.

"Christmas was very, very good. We were very pleased with the outcome of Christmas. It was significantly better than we anticipated going into the year. All of our loyal customers came through and really showed up and took care of us."

Mays says he and the staff at the Gem Den are still getting used to the new layout of the cases.

"It's like we're walking around in circles. Everything that I've had over all those years is no longer in the same spot. Everything is a little different so it's going to take a while to adjust."

Customers are still even knocking on the door of the original location.

Mays still has work left to be done—which could be completed in a week to ten days—but says the new location is as good as he could have hoped, and people just pop their head in to take a look at the former shell of the Polo's building.

"The city—I can't give them enough praise—they got this thing done in ten weeks time from start to finish. Everything went so smoothly and we're appreciative of them doing it so quickly in getting everything done."

The Gem Den is closed on Monday's—at least through winter– but is open from Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays.