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In 1897, Benjamin Berkovitz opened up a little general store in Joliet, on the corner of Chicago and Cass, named New Star. They sold dry goods and some jewelry. Eventually, NewStar started selling primarily jewelry. Ben passed away in the 1930's and his sons, Sammy and Mortimer, took the business over. Mort passed away in the 1960's, leaving Sammy to run the store. Soon Sammy's son Mark began working there too.
In 1982, Mark Berk was killed in a car accident. Sammy passed away a few months later. The ownership of NewStar was left to Sammy's other son Harlan. Harlan already had a coin business, so he decided to sell the store to his ex-wife, Ellen, in the hopes that one of their children might take over the store one day. Ellen had worked at the store as a teenager and enjoyed the jewelry business. So, she and her husband Dan Haake, bought the store from Harlan. By this time the store had moved to it's current location on West Jefferson Street, still in Joliet.
Around 2015, Dan was diagnosed with a rare eye disease that causes virtual blindness. This made the business of being a jeweler next to impossible. therefore, Dan and Ellen decided it was time to retire. They approached their bench jeweler, Theresa (Mackin) Murphy, who had been with them since 1988, about taking over NewStar. The Haakes and the Berks were like family to Theresa, so it felt like a natural progression for her family to keep NewStar open.
In January of 2016, Theresa, her husband Greg, along with their daughters, Mikayla and Madison, became the newest family to own Newstar Jewelers. Theresa and Greg look forward to continuing the Newstar legacy of quality products, repair services and excellent customer care.
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