In 1866, a Frenchman by the name of J.M. Peddinghaus started a jewelry store in Marietta. After being run by the Peddinghaus family for 52 years, it was bought by two brothers, Henry H. and Walter A. Baker, and named Baker & Baker.
For 96 years, the jewelry store has thrived and continued on with the Baker namesake, even though it is no longer Baker-owned.
Larry Hall, the current owner, took over ownership in 1995 but has continued the Baker legacy of quality, service and integrity. He is a believer in changing with the times and adapting to meet customers' needs.
AMANDA NICHOLSON The Marietta Times
Larry Hall, current owner, examines a three carat diamond for which he is custom designing a ring.
Question: How long have you been in the jewelry business?
Answer: (Baker & Baker) was my first job. It was a summer job when I was going to school in Florida...Mr. Baker wrote me a letter and asked me to come back. He was so instrumental in keeping me focused on this work. I've worked six days a week for 38 years. I love it, I love the people, I love what we're doing. There's no retirement in sight; just drag me out by my bootstraps.
Q: Are there any new jewelry trends?
1866-J.M. Peddinghaus, born in Nancy France, starts a jewelry store in downtown Marietta.
1918-Baker & Baker opens after being purchased by Henry H. and Walter A. Baker from L.L. Peddinghaus, a son of J.M. Peddinghaus.
1995- Current owner Larry Hall purchases the store from Norman Baker in 1995.
At a glance
Location: 105 Putnam St.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Contact: 373-7777 or bakernbaker.com.
A: There's Alex & Ani themed bracelets. We sold 38 of them on Valentine's Day. They retail at $28. People also want quality diamonds. We have Hearts on Fire. I'm designing a lot of rings right now, too.
Q: What are some services offered by Baker & Baker?
A: Everything related to jewelry and gifts, we are in. All kinds of jewelry repair, jewelry design. I'm a certified gemologist and appraiser. I give verbal appraisals free of charge. And we deliver. We do a lot of custom wedding rings and bridal consultation.
Q: How many customers do you average in a week?
A: We average, with phone, Internet (and walk-ins) probably about 150. We're very fortunate. We work very hard. We're a staple in the community (and have been for) 96 years. People know they can count on us.
Q: To what do you attribute your success?
A: Quality control, higher standards and my work associates and, above all, the patrons that continue to help establish our reputation.
Q: How have you adapted to a changing business landscape?
A: Oh my gosh, it's constantly changing everyday. There are shopping centers, malls and Internet, but it's coming back-sometimes people waver away, but if they have a particular question about something, they come back to old friends at the business. We embrace (all) those changes. We love electronic media-Twitter, Facebook, we love it.
Q: So you use social media everyday to reach people?
A: Most assuredly, yeah. We use it, we love it.
Q: What's a favorite memory you have of the store?
A: I would say my most fond and favorite memory is working with Mr. and Mrs. Baker. They really made delightful learning and carrying on the fine tradition. That's part of my memory. So I take a lot of pride in it. I've met a lot of nice people too. And I travel all over the world to buy gemstones, to gather unique gemstones and diamonds abroad.
Q: Moving forward, what's next for Baker & Baker?
A: We're going to keep on course with what we're doing. My daughter is training as a gemologist. I'm the past president of the Ohio Jewelers Association and Mr. Baker was, too. Moving forward, we'll continue to change with the times and continue to offer high quality service, high quality merchandise and affordable value...We'll continue to add more lines and add more fun merchandise. That's what we do...We're looking forward to our 100 year anniversary and the next hundred years.
Amanda Nicholson conducted this interview.