Tor­nado vic­tim re-opens jew­elry store in Dal­las

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - BUSINESS - BY DENISE ALLABAUGH STAFF WrITEr Con­tact the writer: dAl­[email protected]­i­; 570-821-2115, @CVAl­lAbAuKh

DAL­LAS — Nearly six months af­ter a tor­nado ripped through its WilkesBarre Twp. store, Tovon & Co. cel­e­brated a grand re­open­ing Fri­day in the Dal­las Shop­ping Cen­ter.

It’s a home­com­ing of sorts as the store is four doors down from where the busi­ness started 26 years ago.

“It’s been a long jour­ney but it has been well worth it,” said Tommy Van Scoy Jr., owner and pres­i­dent of Tovon & Co.

Cus­tomers filled the store Fri­day morn­ing and Van Scoy said ev­ery­thing was marked down 20 to 50 per­cent dur­ing the grand re-open­ing cel­e­bra­tion.

Spe­cials will be of­fered through Christ­mas and ev­ery­one who comes in can get their rings cleaned for free, Van Scoy said. Cus­tomers also could en­ter to win a pair of di­a­mond ear­rings.

The June 13 tor­nado de­stroyed his store and six oth­ers in the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Com­mons, in­clud­ing Pan­era Bread, Amer­ica’s Best Con­tacts & Eye­glasses, Hol­i­day Hair, LA Nails, Fa­mous Footwear and Sneaker King.

VanS­coy said while the tor­nado dev­as­tated the store, di­a­monds and other jew­elry re­mained in the safe un­harmed.

“The only things we had out front was our ster­ling sil­ver and lower tick­eted items and we are in­sured for that,” he said.

Van Scoy is still try­ing to get jew­elry milling ma­chines that were dam­aged in the tor­nado work­ing again.

Tovon & Co. and other stores de­stroyed by the tor­nado in the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Com­mons are still await­ing de­mo­li­tion. A spokesper­son for the prop­erty’s owner, Ur­ban Edge Prop­er­ties, could not yet say when the strip mall will be torn down.

Af­ter the tor­nado, em­ploy­ees from GameS­top be­gan work­ing at an­other store lo­ca­tion in Wyoming Val­ley Mall. GameS­top re­cently opened an­other store in the closed Sweet Frog in the Wilkes-Barre Twp. Mar­ket­place near Wal­mart.

Em­ploy­ees at Hol­i­day Hair moved to an­other lo­ca­tion in Ed­wardsville.

Jack Bec­ca­ris, owner of Sneaker King, re­cently an­nounced that his store in Plains Twp. will close af­ter more than 71 years. That left Sneaker King with­out a lo­ca­tion in the Wyoming Val­ley since the tor­nado de­stroyed the other store in the WilkesBarre Twp. Com­mons.

Van Scoy said he and Bec­ca­ris were the only two in the shop­ping cen­ter that were lo­cal own­ers. Other stores are owned by cor­po­ra­tions, which have mul­ti­ple other lo­ca­tions for in­come.

“I’m a sole pro­pri­etor ba­si­cally,” Van Scoy said. “I have one store so I had to do some­thing here to get mov­ing.”

Van Scoy, who lives near Cen­ter­more­land, said the lo­ca­tion in the Dal­las Shop­ping Cen­ter is closer for him.

Long-time em­ploy­ees at Tovon & Co. have re­mained work­ing at the store in­clud­ing Diane Sira­cuse, an em­ployee for 26 years, and Denise Swida, an em­ployee for 22 years.

“When I got the in­sur­ance, I made sure I had wages cov­ered,” Van Scoy said.

Cus­tomers who came to Tovon & Co. on Fri­day said they are glad the store re­opened.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited that it’s open so I can get my ring cleaned all the time now,” said Old Forge res­i­dent Jen­nifer Kim­ble, who is get­ting mar­ried in Oc­to­ber.

Bar­bara Pavloski of Old Forge said the new store is “beau­ti­ful” and she ap­pre­ci­ates Van Scoy ex­plain­ing ev­ery­thing about di­a­monds.

“He’s mar­velous,” she said. “The di­a­monds here are beau­ti­ful. They’re gor­geous.”


Tommy Van Scoy talks with a re­porter at the grand open­ing of Tovon & Co., in the Dal­las Shop­ping Cen­ter on Fri­day.

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