Celebrating 48 years!
Dorothy and Fred Burke, Sr. didn't realize they were establishing a Northern Neck tradition back in August of 1969. They had a vision for their new company. They wanted to offer quality items and service to their friends and neighbors. They did just that when they opened the doors of Burkes Jewelers 48 years ago.
The jewelry industry was an unlikely career choice for the couple. Fred was a meat cutter at Safeway Stores for 25 years and Dorothy was a secretary at a local insuracne company for more than 20 years. They made the decision to buy Finney's Quality Jewelers from Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Finney and on August 25th Burkes Jewelers was born. Of course Mr. and Mrs Burke knre the decision to buy the company would have an impact on their family but they had no idea that 48 years later Burkes Fine Jewelers would be three generations deep and growing faster than ever.
The premise the company was built on is exactly why Burkes Fine Jewelers is thriving. They value good old fashioned service, superior craftsmanship and lasting friendships with their clients.
Fred Jr. became a jeweler 36 years ago and joined the family business to help expand the serivces Burkes Jewelers offered. In 1987, Fred Jr. met Karen, got married and took over the business shortly after. "Not only did I fall head-over-heels in love with Fred, but I also fell in love with his family, their business and the laid-back lifestyle of the Northern Neck" said Karen Burke, owner and designer of Burkes Fine Jewelers.
It's that lifestyle that Karen joined with her love of jewelry to create the famous River Collection - an assemblage of Northern Neck inspired jewelry that is admired and adorned by locals and visitors alike. "I bought my love of fine jewelry and all it has meant to my life, and deep love for the land and the waters of the Northern Neck" said Karen. "The amazing variety of birds and waterfowl. The blue crab. The oysters and the rock fish. Truly, this is God's country and I stand in awe and amazement at its boldness and beauty".
"In our neck of the woods, owning and operating a small business isn't easy but it's what keeps out area alive." said Fred Burke Jr., owner and master jeweler. "There is something very encouraging about looking down Main Street at our neighbor businesses. I'm proud to run our company alongside all of the great locally owned and operated businesses, not only here in Kilmarnock but in all of our surrounding small towns. It's the businesses like ours that help draw folks to our area and keep the Northern Neck alive."