WEST BOYLSTON — Casey DeAndrade proposed to his now fiancée, Emma Compagna, on Dec. 23 with a attractive elongated cushion slash diamond on a gold band that he acquired at Pucci’s Diamonds & Good Jewellery.
DeAndrade did not know that considerably about rings, Compagna claimed, besides that she favored a very simple model.
“I’m not the most frilly lady,” Compagna mentioned final Wednesday afternoon when she and DeAndrade stopped by Pucci’s to get the ring resized.
The good news is, DeAndrade has a fantastic connection in the jewellery business. He and Mike Pucko, who has owned Pucci’s with his spouse, Paula, because 1987, are both of those assistant coaches on the Holy Cross football team. Mike helped DeAndrade style and design a customized ring for Compagna.
“He’s been terrific to us,” DeAndrade reported. “I owe a large amount to coach Pucko in a lot more ways than one particular.”
For the past 3-moreover decades, Pucci’s own contact has been a cornerstone of the business and, via the several years, Pucci’s most efficient promoting has been word of mouth. A few generations of a Sterling relatives have purchased engagement rings, wedding day and anniversary bands from Pucci’s, Mike claimed.
Mike and Paula, who were longtime West Boylston people in advance of transferring to Princeton a several years in the past, have cultivated their devoted shopper foundation by way of their potent ties in the community as properly as Mike’s soccer relationships.
Mike, who just accomplished his 3rd season as HC’s defensive line coach, was earlier an assistant at Assumption and the head coach at Holy Identify High and West Boylston Higher. Hanging powering Pucci’s major glass display counter is a framed photograph of Emil Igwenagu, one of Pucko’s stars at Holy Title who went on to play five seasons in the NFL.
“The contacts I designed in the environment of football opened marketplaces for us receiving people today in and then having care of them, and it unfold,” Mike claimed. “(Pucci’s) has been an outlet for us to see the youngsters I coached. They maintain coming back again, in some cases just to say hi.”
Pucci’s closing Jan. 29
Just after pretty much 35 a long time underneath the Puckos’ possession and much more than 30 a long time at its present locale on 205 West Boylston St., Pucci’s will close Jan. 29.
“This was the time for us,” Mike said.
Pucci’s introduced its “Retirement Sale” (30%-40% off storewide) Nov. 1, and considering that then enterprise has been “insane,” Paula said.
“You see the reaction the past two months and it helps make you come to feel responsible about closing,” Mike claimed, “but it is time.”
The building might perhaps be bought and remain as a jewelry shop, Mike said, but it will not have the Pucci’s name.
In the 1980s, Mike was operating in development and Paula was doing his textbooks while increasing their three younger small children. Excited for a new option, they acquired Pucci’s Jewelers, then positioned in downtown Worcester, in 1987.
The late Bob Pucci opened the first Pucci’s Jewelers in Worcester at 1018 Major St. in the early 1970s. The retail outlet was a city staple that specialized in gold jewelry, this kind of as chains, crosses, signet rings and Claddagh earrings.
“We didn’t know anything about jewellery,” Paula said, “but we reported, ‘We’ll try out it,’ and listed here we are 35 yrs afterwards.”
Discovered on the task
Paula turned the organization manager and Mike took courses via the Gemological Institute of The usa. Jointly, they uncovered about jewellery, the sector, gross sales, shopper support and working the business enterprise, and Pucci’s expanded its product or service offerings to diamonds, its specialty, and gemstones.
“We had to truly build the diamond-ring and the wedding day-band factor of it to get it to seriously just take off,” Mike explained. “Diamond engagement rings, wedding bands and anniversary bands, individuals are our primary factors by considerably, the psychological staples that folks will not acquire online.”
Pucci’s moved to the greater West Boylston area in September 1991, and the Puckos’ four longtime workforce, Nancy Trottier, jeweler John Scully, Mary Jane Jenket and Dee Dee Wilson, have been with them each step of the way.
“It’s like a loved ones,” Paula claimed.
For the duration of the COVID shutdown in spring 2020, Pucci’s shut for 10 months.
“We did not know what was likely to transpire,” Paula explained. “Our clients were so supportive. When we reopened immediately after individuals 10 months, it was like Xmas each individual working day. Individuals preferred to commit funds on some thing that lasted. They weren’t touring. They weren’t heading out to evening meal. We experienced by no means been busier. That ongoing into Xmas (2020) and all this yr, and then when we declared this retirement sale, it is been insane. Individuals are obtaining everything and everything.”
Throughout an interview past Wednesday, Paula wore a breathtaking ring with a deep aquamarine stone (her birthstone) encircled in diamonds on her correct ring finger.
“My retirement gift to myself,” she reported.
Paula and Mike will both transform 69 this 12 months. Paula looks ahead to expending much more time with their grandchildren, ages 7, 5 and 2, performing exercises, and receiving to additional Holy Cross soccer games.
“When you very own a business enterprise,” she reported, “it can take up a whole lot of time.”
Pucci’s utilised to be open seven days a 7 days. In recent a long time, it shifted to Tuesday-Saturday with extended several hours on Wednesday and Thursday.
Passion for coaching proceeds
Mike will keep on coaching. He has always coached domestically, so that has served him equilibrium his chaotic professions. Coaching at the Division 1 faculty stage has been a even bigger time dedication.
Mike was away from the retail outlet when Holy Cross created its playoff operate and performed into December, but he unquestionably appreciated becoming component of HC’s historic 2021 time. The Crusaders gained a nationwide postseason match for the very first time.
Over the a long time, Pucci’s took excellent pride in sponsoring and supporting Pop Warner and Minimal League teams, and Boy and Woman Scout troops in city, and genuinely getting portion of the cloth of the local community, which has shown its appreciation for Pucci’s high-quality, choice and knowledgeable and affable staff, and Mike and Paula Pucko’s commitment and kindness.
The last couple of months, buyers and townspeople have stopped in the retail outlet to say thank you. The Saturday just before Xmas, a nearby family introduced in meals for the Puckos and their team.
“In retail,” Mike stated, “you have your ups and downs, but the response has been overwhelmingly great. You assume, ‘OK, we did our position.’ It was all really worth it.’ ”
Call Jennifer Toland at [email protected] Observe her on Twitter @JenTandG