“It’s hard to think about Main Street without this store. It’s a small store but it’s really cute,” Sandra Andrad said.
Mckay Diamonds located on the 100 South block of Salt Lake City’s Main Street is just eight feet wide.
“People come here, sometimes they stop just to take a peek, they love this sign,” she added. That grand old sign has been welcoming Salt Lake residents for several generations.
Joaquin Andrad, Sandra’s husband explained how the couple splits the duties.
“She does the selling. I do all the jewelry, crafts and designs and repairs. The jeweler bench I bring and set up right here. I can do repair right over here. People can watch, it’s like a show you know. We have a lot of fun as a husband and wife when we work together.”
Another husband and wife team ran the store for its first 62 years.
Ten years ago, as a producer for Fox 13 News, I interviewed Bob McKay.
At the time, Nordstrom had left Crossroads Mall and the future of Main Street merchants seemed uncertain. Bob explained his longevity.
“The old basics. Honesty, good service, good value,” he said. “In the old mom and pop stores, it was service. Still is.”
Bob and his wife Fran retired from the business a couple years ago, handing over the keys and legacy to the jewelry store that bears their name.
“Bob, every day he’d wear a white shirt and tie.” Joaquin told me.
“Is this a coincidence..do you wear a white shirt and tie everyday,” I asked.
“Most everyday,” Joaquin said with a smile.
“We have a lot of people come because they want a small store, they don’t want a big chain, they look for local, and we can provide those things.”
Above the jewelry counter hang several photos of happy couples, engaged or celebrating anniversaries commemorated with rings purchased at the shop. The older photos from the Mckay’s days are in black and white. The newer photos, building on the tradition are in color.
“We can never replace Bob, you know, but we try to keep his legacy,” Joaquin reflected.