Bernard's Jewelers was established in 1934 by Raymond Tetrault, Sr. Ray partnered with Bernie Goldberg, hence the name "Bernard's" was chosen for their jewelry store.
"The original store was located at 137 Essex Street (on land which is now part of the Peabody Essex Museum). Ray and Bernie moved the store to 173 Essex Street, and later to its present location - 179 Essex Street - in the historic Downing Block, next to the Peabody Essex Museum garden" according to their website.
Both sons Ray Jr. and Tom grew up in the business with their father. Ray Jr. had other jobs in Washington, D.C. and Maine but came back to help when Bernie passed away in 1969 and continued on permanently at the store. Tom went to Babson College for a business degree. Ray Jr. and Tom bought the business in 1978, but Ray Sr. continued to work at the store until he was in his 80's.
In the fall of 2013, the Tetrault's made the difficult decision to close the store after 80 years of family operation.
- "With Bernard's Jewelers exit, an era ends on Essex Street" Salem News, Sept. 17, 2013
- "Hanging on in Salem: few in number but strong in spirit, longtime retailers hang on in Salem" Salem Evening News, Oct. 26, 1995, p. A1