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Berkeley Jeweler Fights Back: Local Support Key to Recovery After Devastating Robbery November 27, 2023 (0 comments)


San Francisco, CA--In Berkeley, the holiday shopping season brings not just a surge in sales but a heartfelt reminder of community resilience. At the forefront is The 14 Karats, a local family-run jewelry store rallying from a harrowing robbery just before Thanksgiving 2022.

[Image source: CBS video screenshot]

Store owner Jon Moriarty recounts the terrifying ordeal: "Three guys came in. One of them had a gun and he pistol-whipped me for a while," he said in a report published in CBS. "I fought back. I just told him to go stuff it. And I went after him and he started hitting me with a gun."

Yet, Moriarty refuses to be cowed. "You can't let that stuff bother you. Then they've won," he noted in the report. "You've got to just pop right up and start over again.".

The 14 Karats, a fixture in Berkeley's Elmwood shopping district for 46 years, has forged a bond with its clientele, crafting wedding rings for families across generations. This deep-rooted connection underscores the store's resilience, further buoyed by Moriarty's hands-on jewelry-making approach.

"They can help design it," he said in the report. "They can have input as it's being made and that's important to a lot of people when they're getting something like a wedding ring," Moriarty said.

However, the challenges extend beyond crime. Moriarty points to the growing dominance of online retailers and big box stores as significant threats to small businesses like his.

In solidarity, local shop owners are banding together to encourage year-round support for small businesses. Claudia Hunka, owner of Your Basic Bird, highlights the community impact of such patronage, "Any money that you spend at a local businesses goes into the community. It goes back into the city of Berkeley."

To attract customers, these small businesses are offering incentives like substantial discounts, hoping to draw attention to the irreplaceable value they add to the community fabric. 

Learn more in the entire CBS report.

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