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Dupuis Et Fils Jewelers And Goldsmiths

in search of Americaʼs most unique jewelry retail businesses




Dupuis Et Fils Jewelers And Goldsmiths, Jackson, MI

OWNERS: Philip J. Dupuis; ADDRESS: 5160 W. Michigan Avenue Jackson, Michigan; PHONE: (517) 784-8525

PHILIP J. DUPUISʼ regal-looking store has a wealth of history behind it, and some beautiful attention to detail, much of it the result of the dedication of William and Maude Bugg, the storeʼs original owners.

How long have you been at this location?

The business was started by William and Maude Bugg in 1903, and the current location was built by them specifically as a jewelry store in 1928, and itʼs been used as that ever since.

Whatʼs the building like?

It was built in the neo-Egyptian style, and features a limestone and granite façade with a large sculpted scarab near the top. Inside thereʼs a high vaulted, painted plaster ceiling with marble door jambs and Art Deco floor and wallcases. Very little has changed since 1928. Unfortunately the blueprints were lost but we think the ceiling was cast and painted in Europe and brought over in sections to be assembled here.


Has the store ever had any other uses?

Rumor has it that William Bugg, in cahoots with the local sheriff, was involved in bootlegging during Prohibition — certain facts seem to bear out these rumors. For example, the building was built in 1928, they moved into it in early 1929, and it was paid for before the [Stock Market] Crash in October of 1929. How else would they have come up with that much capital? Also, itʼs said that Maude Bugg pretty much ran the store even in the early days, which was pretty unusual for a woman at that time.

Any customer stories?

An elderly woman was in the store a few years ago and recounted an incident that occurred when she was 18 years old and working for the Buggs — Mr. Bugg came waltzing in through the door about mid-morning, without saying a word. He went straight to the cash register, removed a wad of cash, stashed it in his pocket and proceeded to make his way back out of the door. Maude Bugg called out to inquire where he was going. Without pausing, he uttered the word, “Fishing,” and left the building.

How do customers usually react?

Itʼs fun to see customersʼ reactions when entering the store for the first time or sometimes even noticing the ceiling for the first time. Occasionally a regular customer will bring an out-of-town guest just to show them the storeʼs interior.

Any ghosts?

Like many old buildings with storied pasts, unexplained incidences have occurred suggesting ghostly activity. Most of the activity happens in the third floor apartment, although a few strange events have happened in the store area and offices.


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When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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