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Friday, April 20 News

Francois du Pont Jewelers still sparkling in new downtown store

Francois du Pont Jewelers is alive and well and still serving Westport after 60 years, but at a new downtown location.

The store's new quarters are in Sconset Square on Myrtle Avenue, and owner Noel du Pont -- son of the founder -- couldn't be happier.

"It's a new, bright, cleaner store," he said, having been asked by his former landlord -- along with the Westport Pizzeria -- to vacate the old shop at 105 Main St. to make way for consolidation of the storefronts.

"I was there for 34 years. It was just a matter of time until the landlord wanted a big triple space," said du Pont.

But, he said, the community's familiarity with his store is making the transition to a new site seamless. When he reopened April 1, he was pleased to find many longtime customers stopping by to shop and sharing best wishes.

That close connection to the jeweler's customers is what keeps them coming back for decades, he said, with new generations of families regularly asking duPont for shopping suggestions for relatives that he knows as longtime customers.

"We're not like a big corporate store," he said, noting there is no agenda to push. Instead, he said the business prefers to establish long-term relations with customers by being helpful and listening to their needs.

Francois du Pont, a Polish Jew who changed his name after fleeing occupied Warsaw during World War II, began his American career as a jeweler in 1955 in Bridgeport.

Noel du Pont, a 1978 graduate of Staples High School, followed his father's footsteps in the business in 1980, and looks forward to this next phase in the store's history.

"It's all good," he said. "I couldn't be more happy."

Francois du Pont Jewelers, Sconset Square, No. 6, 15 Myrtle Ave. Information: 203-226-9804 or visit http://on.fb.me/1lHsiMx