The Mitchell & Jewell Story
Your Independent, Family Jeweller, since 1919
Mitchell & Jewell came into existence over 90 years ago. Mitchell & Jewell,which currently employees 12, is the oldest locally owned retailer in Red Deer, and it’s roots extend back even further than 1919. When Alexander Mitchell immigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1909, he went to work at a gift ware, eyeglass and jewellery store in Red Deer operated by Harold Snell. After 10 years, he bought the jewellery part of that business in 1919 and became A.B. Mitchell Jewellers.
Bob Jewell came to Red Deer from Lethbridge, where he helped out in a Jewellery Store while stationed with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was know for his creativity and enjoyment of artwork and designing houses. Alexander Mitchell welcomed Bob Jewell as a partner in 1950, and Mitchell & Jewell was born. Bob’s son Dick Jewell, joined his family’s business on a full-time basis in 1979. however, he had already spent considerable time helping out at the store. “It was a natural progression. It was just a matter of making the decision, I guess”, remembers Dick. Bob stepped away from the business in the mid-1980s, but still has a lasting influence on how his son operates the store. More importantly, said Dick, both his father and his mother, Doris, showed him how to interact with others. “All through my life, it was a matter of, “This is how you treat people; this is how you do business.”
At Mitchell & Jewell, third generation customers and very common. New customers come in to tell us that their grandfather purchased their grandmother’s engagement ring from Mitchell & Jewell. “Maybe they’re living in Sherwood Park or perhaps they’re living in Calgary now, but they come back to purchase items” comments Dick.
Dick’s parents also impressed upon him the importance of giving back to the community. Bob was a founding member of the Red Deer College Board and helped establish the Red Deer International Folk Festival; Doris served on City council and chaired the Red Deer Arts Center building committee. Local residents appreciate such community involvement by business owners, and try to support them in return, said Dick. “It’s a definite two-way street.”
Always thinking about the future Dick and Marilyn Jewell have recently taken on partners Sean and Granada Robinson as part of a succession plan. The Robinson’s experience as second generation Jewellers made them a perfect fit for Mitchell & Jewell. It was Granada’s Parents Larry and Shirley Humphrey that got into the Jewellery business in Grand Forks, B.C., 35 years ago. In 1987 the Humphrey’s then purchased Merchant Jewellers and moved to Whitecourt, Alberta. Sean and Granada became partners in the family business in 1998 which has since seen Larry and Shirley retire. “We have great memories from our previous stores but we feel very privileged to have the opportunity to be part of the history and the future in Mitchell & Jewell.