Bob LaGravinese retiring from LaGravinese Jewelers 57 years after starting store


Bob LaGravinese at his work station

When Bob LaGravinese opened LaGravinese Jewelers of Pelham in 1964, he was looking for a new start. He had served in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War and then worked for his father in a setting factory where he learned everything he could about the art of making jewelry.

But after doing this for several years and feeling unfulfilled, he knew that a life spent away from his family every day was not what he wanted. He sought a life where he could make his own schedule while still seeing his family. Despite skepticism from Pelham natives, he opened the renowned jewelry store that has been serving the community for 57 years.

Upon opening, the store was remodeled with the help of a local carpenter, who allowed for weekly incremental payments until the project was completed. LaGravinese said he was also encouraged to rent the store in its location by the owner of the local dry cleaners at the time, who informed him of the increased business in that busy location.

LaGravinese said he credits actions like this to the way he lives his life: “Do unto others as you’d have others do unto you. That’s my secret. That’s what you should always do.” 

This has paid off for LaGravinese, who has been chosen to be the grand marshal of Pelham’s Memorial Day parade this year. His business has gained a loyal following, with customers coming from as far as Brooklyn since its opening. 

Now, at age 90, he is retiring and leaving the store he built in the care of his family. His son is the owner of LaGravinese Jewelers in Bronxville, and his granddaughters, Dominique and Maxine, will be taking over the Pelham store upon his retirement under the guidance of their mother, Jeanette. This tradition of jewelry that has run in the family for four generations is one that LaGravinese hopes will continue well into the future.

Though this is the end of an era for LaGravinese, he looks at it fondly, saying, “I feel I retired when I opened this store. I felt free.”

Now, with actual retirement on the horizon, LaGravinese said he is looking back at the successes of his life. “I have 16 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren now, so I’m a rich man,” he said. He plans on spending time in his community in Somers and potentially coming into the store once or twice a week.

“I don’t think I can ever fully retire,” he said. “I love to do things, to help, so I’ll keep doing that.”

The connection he has with his customers is clear. Over half a century after he began, it remains an impactful and meaningful portion of his service-driven life.