Anyone from the Long Beach area knows that McCarty’s Jewelry store is the place to go for anything from fine birthstones and top designer watches to full repair services and custom jewelry design. It was first established back in 1932, when Belmont Shore was a sleepy little beach town that was growing fast but was still far enough from downtown for small businesses to arise and find their bearings.
In 1958, the store moved to its current location here on second street and has remained a fixture in Long Beach since then. McCarty’s Jewelry has had four owners in its 80-plus years in business, which is testimony to its roots as a “family business.” The original McCarty family owned the business from 1932 to 1963, when it was purchased by Bob and Ann Weeks, who owned it until 1982. Then Frank Rooney and Gary Borden bought the store, and six years later, Page Henley, the current owner, joined them as a third partner.
Mr. Henley, now the sole owner, has maintained the integrity of this historic Long Beach retail establishment and brought it into the 21st century. In our interview he commented that “although we have modernized it to some extent, of course, the store has largely remained the same since the 40s.” Even the store’s sign out front, a classic neon attraction that many customers want to purchase, is the original!
Mr. Henley explained that the store’s large variety of products is in part thanks to the business’ strong relationships with brands like Rolex, Brighton and Cartier — friendships that have provided them with an extensive range of access that is unique to McCarty’s. He said that they “also acquire a lot of estate jewelry that people pass down — a beautiful antique selection of diamonds, pearls, birthstones and more…” Henley also commented on the strong relationship that McCarty’s has with the community. He remarked that “the family oriented environment attracts a lot of third generation customers, so we will often have young couples come into the store and tell us that their grandfather bought their wedding band here, which is really special.”
Just like many other business, McCarty’s experienced closures and had to make some major adjustments at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Henley reflected on a moment when he was considering retirement and a new couple was ready to step in and purchase the store. While they had owned other jewelry stores in the past, Henley commented that they “never came through with a healthy financial program,” and he did not foresee it being a suitable transition for such an iconic local business that holds such a personal legacy in town.
Not only does McCarty’s treat their customers like family, but Mr. Henley emphasized that they make a great effort to support the local community as well. He explained that even in his own personal background, “giving back is really the best way to stay connected with your community” so for several decades, McCarty’s has been involved with supporting local charities including the Cancer League, St. Mary’s Hospital, Junior League, Casa Youth Shelter, along with hospice and elementary and high school programs.
Superior customer service and a genuine desire to meet and get to know each customer has helped this iconic store become the place to go for fine jewelry, and McCarty’s is looking forward to many more years of service to the Long Beach community.