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In the Spotlight with John Polito, owner of Alfred Jewelers

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 By contributing writer: Linda McLoof

Alfred Jewelers was established in 1967 in Hawthorne, NJ. In 1973, John Polito bought the store and ran it from its Hawthorne location for nearly 30 years. In 2002, he moved the store to Glen Rock. Alfred’s & Starbucks, which share the space that was originally occupied by a Tydol gas station (see photo below), renovated the inside to make it adaptable to their businesses but kept the original outside structure.

THE BEGINNING
John was always attracted to diamonds. When he was a teenager, he passed Alfred Jewelers in Hawthorne every day on his way to school, often venturing inside to say ‘hello’ to Alfred, the owner. After he graduated from high school, Alfred offered him a job. John quickly moved up from clerk to apprentice to owner. John is now a gemologist by trade.

WHY GLEN ROCK
John spent the earliest part of his life in Glen Rock so he welcomed the opportunity to return here. In 2001, John sold the Hawthorne building where Alfred Jewelers resided but maintained a small office there, selling and repairing jewelry. One of John’s customers was the Glen Rock building inspector, who suggested hemove the store to Glen Rock. Starbucks did not want the entire space so John moved Alfred’s into the smaller section of the building.

FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
“Interpersonal relationships, honesty, and knowledge of product”.

MOST CHALLENGING PARTS OF THE JOB
“There aren’t any challenges. Every part of the job is a pleasure”.

MOST FUN ASPECTS OF THE JOB
“Every person who walks into the store has a different personality. There is never a dull moment. And I get to deal with the most beautiful gems on earth”.

ADVICE FOR FUTURE, POTENTIAL GEMOLOGISTS & JEWELERS
“You have to have a passion for gems, a love of people, and good interpersonal relationships. People bring invaluable gems to me; there needs to be a trust”.

FUN FACT: WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT JOHN
John is a boating enthusiast; he has owned many boats. John also has a deep love for – and attraction to –Lake George.

credit: Glen Rock Historical and Preservation Society
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