VALPARAISO │ Martin Binder Jeweler has opened its new jewelry store on U.S. 30 in Valparaiso.
Located at 650 W. Morthland Drive next to Applebee’s, the jeweler began renovations in the former Focus office building last year.
Martin Binder's former store served customers for seven decades on the corner of Lincolnway and Franklin Street.
“We still have some bugs to work out and a few things to finish up,” said Robert J. Flude, III, third generation owner of Martin Binder Jeweler. “This winter weather has proved challenging and we will have to wait for Mother Nature to warm up so we can finish our exterior. But inside, it’s beautiful and we’re eager to show off our new home.”
The new store has 9,000 square feet of interior space, compared to the 3,000 square feet of the current store, and 75 parking spaces.
Flude said the old store had become “too cramped for space.”
“A lot of our collections that should have been given additional space we weren’t able to give,” he said.
Flude said the new store, which opened in March, has been well-received by customers.
"We’re so appreciative of our customers and our friends here in town and in northern Indiana,” he said. “We’re so fortunate to have the base we have. It would be nice to call them all personally and shake their hands, but at some point they’re going to see us.”
Flude said Martin Binder has been in business so long that it is now serving fourth-generation customers.
“It’s exciting and we’re real fortunate,” he said.
Flude said it was an easy decision to remain in Valparaiso and said the community has the most to offer in the Midwest including its schools, civic organizations and proximity to Chicago.
“It’s a very good area and growing area,” he said. “It was nice to provide a world-class store to this neck of the woods.”
Flude said business “has been fantastic” and last year was the jeweler’s best ever.
New lines include Tudor, a sister company to Rolex, which Flude said was a significant deal.
“There are only three dealers in the state, and we’re one of the three,” he said.
Flude, the 2013 recipient of the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center’s Family-Owned Business of the Year award, said the completed store is one of the most amazing and inviting stores in Northwest Indiana.
“I think my grandfather Martin would be proud,” he said.