There’s a rather warm and wonderful love story still unfolding inside Suite 10 at 1450 Place on Atwood Avenue in Johnston.
It involves two enthusiastic entrepreneurs, young business owners who only opened their doors a few months back but are well-versed in jewelry – whether you’re buying, selling or trading.
Mayor Joseph Polisena was impressed with Gilbert and Gabriella Mendoza when he took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened Johnston’s newest business – Atwood Coin and Jewelry – on March 18.
“This is quite the place,” Polisena said as he met Gabriella’s parents, Lavern and Lany, amid a floor with glass cases that were filled with rings, necklaces and a variety of jewelry. “I have an official commendation with a gold seal – sorry, it’s not real gold – in honor of you opening your business.”
The mayor paused, reading the citation that offered, in part: “The town’s sincerest congratulations upon the opening of your business and the hope for success and best wishes, now and in the years to come.”
Atwood Coin and Jewelry’s story began when Gabriella was a student at North Providence High School and Gilbert was attending Johnston High School.
Gabriella, who was born in Connecticut, moved around a bit until her parents settled down in North Providence and opened Gold Crafters about a decade ago.
“My father, Lavern, has been in the precious metals and coin dealing business just about his whole life, leaning from his father,” Gabriella said. “My mother is from Brazil, where her mother owned jewelry stores that she worked in growing up.”
Many of Gabriella’s relatives were in the same business. Now, she proudly notes, “opening this business makes me a third-generation jeweler/precious metals dealer.”
As for Gilbert, Gabriella continued: “He was raised by his parents, Lisa Mendoza and Gilbert Mendoza Sr., went to Johnston High and played for the town football teams when he was younger. We first met as high school students and we’ve been together ever since.”
History, though, played a huge part in the couple moving on.
“Being a history lover, Gilbert quickly took an interest in all of the coins,” Gabriella said. “He watched my father sort through many coins and later began working in dad’s store. I have always worked in our family business … We then decided this is what we wanted to do with our lives and worked even closer to my parents to learn as much as possible abut the business.”
It wasn’t that long ago that Gilbert and Gabriella were driving through Johnston and noticed the open storefront on Atwood Avenue.
“We thought it would be the perfect spot,” Gabriella said. “With [my parents’] guidance we worked to set up the store … Now, we’re here today. We take great pride in being a family owned and operated, small local business, and we invite Johnston residents visit us.”
“We also want people to feel confident they’re getting the best value and most money for your treasures,” she added
Atwood Coin and Jewelry is open Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Those looking for more information can call 525-CASH.