Success of Grasmere jeweler built on customers satisfaction
Staten Island Advance By Barton Horowitze
Owner of Buono Jewelers started his business in 1995 with the goal of creating an honest, reliable retail value
Within today's business climate, heavily accented with large chain operations and corporate giants, modest-sized independent retailers need a special edge if they are to thrive.
For entrepreneur John Buonocore, that leverage has been forged from nearly three decades of dedication to customer satisfaction.
"My reputation speaks for my store," said the proprietor of Buono Jewelers, 1250 Hylan Blvd., Grasmere. "My customers are always completely satisfied."
Buoncore started his business in October 1995 with the goal of creating an honest and reliable venue.
"A lot of people aren't educated about jewelry, so they place their faith in their jeweler," he said. "So, it's important that your jeweler is educated and trustworthy."
With this in mind, Buonocore, who has been in his industry since 1978, markets his store with the slogan: "If you don't know your diamonds, know your jeweler."
Born in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, Buonocore moved to Staten Island when he was 6 years old.
I've been here for so long, I consider myself a native," the Emerson Hill resident said. "I was raised on Staten Island."
After attending the former Abbey School of Jewelry and Design, Manhattan, Buonocore entered the trade as a jewelry repairman.
"I worked my way into design and manufacturing, which eventually led to the opening of my own store," the 46 year-old merchant said.
When the time came to choose a location for his enterprise, Grasmere was and immediate candidate.
"I grew up in the neighborhood," said Buonocore, and alumnus or Holy Rosary grammar school, South Beach, and New Dorp High School. "I know so many of the people in the area and they know me."
Buonocore's affinity to the community and its surrounding areas has fueled the growth of his jewelry store. It also has strengthened his capability of contributing in a positive way to the Island, inspiring his membership in such groups as the North Central Kiwanis Club (of Staten Island), Italian Club of Staten Island and the Grasmere Merchants Association.
Selecting the name for his new enterprise was no more difficult then finding its home, the jeweler said.
"'Buono', is the first part of my name. In Italian, it means 'good,'" he explained. "The name speaks for itself."
It appears Buonocore's choice of location and name were right on the mark. Today, he describes his business as a "full-service upscale jewelry store" that offers "unique styles of 14 karat and 18 karat yellow and white gold, and platinum jewelry; GIA (Gemological Institute of America)-certified diamonds; gem stones; name-brand watches, and Swarovski crystal and jewelry, to name a few."
The establishment also provides jewelry design, jewelry repair, diamond and gem setting - and watch repair - on premises.
"My customers have the convenience of coming to the store and waiting while their jewelry is being designed or repaired," Buonocore said. "We set customers' diamonds right in front of their eyes."
A family business, Buono Jewelers in enriched no only by and experience staff, but by Buonocore's wife, Donna who assists in management of the business, and the couple's son John Jr., and the daughter Danielle, who pitch in part time. John Jr., is a sophomore at St. John's University, Grymes Hill campus, and Danielle in a student at the University of Dental and Medical, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Barton Horowitz is the Advance consumer editor and writer of the Island Business Upclose columns. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.