From left to right, Paul, Alice, Phillip and Charles Michael Penaloza outside Penaloza and Sons Inc. in Castle Hills, Texas, an enclave of San Antonio. Charles Penaloza opened the business in 1958 as a trade shop.
San Antonio—Penaloza and Sons Inc., a jewelry store that has been open for six decades, is in the process of shutting down so its owners can move on to the next stage of their lives—retirement.

Charles Penaloza, the son of a Mexican immigrant from Yucatan, opened Penaloza and Sons as a trade shop in 1958, fixing and making jewelry for other jewelers.

His son Phillip Penaloza joined the business in the 1970s, followed by Paul Penaloza in 1981.

Over the years, the store has served generations of local families as well as a few high-profile clients.

Penaloza and Sons Inc. made pieces for San Antonio native Carol Burnett, as well as the late Bob Hope and Debbie Reynolds, who bought a diamond bracelet for daughter Carrie Fisher while in town to perform at the Majestic Theatre, Phillip recalls.

20190410 Penaloza storeWhat will the Penalozas miss about running a jewelry store that’s been part of the community for 61 years? Both their longtime customers and their staff, which currently consists of nine employees. “We’re a pretty tight group here,” Paul Penaloza said.

When Charles died in 2002, Phillip and Paul, a certified gemologist, took over.

Phillip became the company’s chief designer, and other family members came on board as well. Paul’s wife, Alice Penaloza, a graduate gemologist, sells and appraises jewelry, while Phillip’s son Charles Michael Penaloza works as a bench jeweler.

(Penaloza and Sons is not to be confused with C. Aaron Penaloza Jewelers, another San Antonio jewelry store. Owner Charles Aaron Penaloza is Paul and Phillip’s brother. He opened his own store in 1990 after working at Penaloza and Sons.)

Now the time for Paul, Alice and Phillip to retire has come, and their to-do list mirrors that of many who are approaching retirement age: travel, spend more time with family and have more time to themselves.
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“Paul and I have worked together and built a very strong business, and it’s been a pleasure making that happen,” Alice said in a news release about the store’s closing. “It’s just felt like this was the right time to close this chapter in our lives.”

Paul told National Jeweler Tuesday that when they knew it was time to step back, they initially tried to find a buyer for the business but couldn’t, and Charles Michael was not in a position to acquire it on his own.

So they opted to close the store and sell everything—the jewelry as well as the building, furniture and fixtures.

But this might not be the end of their involvement in the jewelry business. Paul said they could continue as a smaller business, making one-off pieces for clients or creating and fixing jewelry for other jewelers, as the shop originally did when his father opened it in the late 1950s.

“It might evolve back to that,” he said. “We have no definite plans right now.”

The going-out-of-business sale at Penaloza and Sons started Friday, and items are marked down as much as 70 percent.

The store’s inventory consists mainly of 18-karat gold and platinum pieces as well as a selection of “rare and valuable” gemstones including unheated pink sapphire, alexandrite and garnet.

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