‘Caring’ Marshalltown Businessman Celebrates Milestone | News, Sports, Jobs
Many residents of Marshalltown made a special visit to Hellberg’s Jewelers on Friday.
As people walked through the doors of the business on Friday to greet owner Vic Hellberg, his family helped keep his 50th birthday celebration going smoothly. Refreshments including shrimp cocktails have been prepared for the nicer ones.
Spending 50 years in a store is no small feat in any business. What was more remarkable for Hellberg, 74, was that he was the fourth generation to operate the Marshalltown business. Pointing to three framed portraits hanging on the wall, he drew attention to his predecessors.
“My great-grandfather started in 1898, so it was a natural flow for the family to continue. “ Hellberg said. “It was interesting… Only 30 percent of businesses reach three generations and less than 3 percent reach four generations… It’s quite an achievement to be a four-generation store.
However, jewelry was not Hellberg’s first career choice. He originally wanted to work in the food industry. At 14, he was employed as a bus helper at Lloyd’s Restaurant in Marshalltown.
“I worked for them for many years, throughout high school”, Hellberg said.
Then he made the decision to go to the Culinary Institute of America in New Haven, Conn.
“The field I wanted to be in was catering”, Hellberg said. “I graduated there and my brother David was the one who was interested in the business and he went to Vietnam.”
After David was activated in the Naval Reserve, Hellberg told their father he would return to work at Hellberg’s Jewelers until his brother returned from his service. David came home on a stretcher, so Hellberg said life was different. However, he does not regret his journey.
“I love this business and hope to be able to continue to do so for many years to come” Hellberg said. “Every day I wake up and am excited to get down to business and help the community buy jewelry. “
A granddaughter from Hellberg has applied for an internship in jewelry this summer. It’s something that got Hellberg excited, but he doesn’t want to push either.
“I don’t know the future of the business, but it could be something really important for our family”, he said.
Over his 50 years in the industry, Hellberg witnessed the pendulum swinging towards large chain stores in the 1970s and believes it is down to small independent stores – those who care about communities, which can certainly be said about Hellberg. .
In May, he and his wife Gayle were recognized by the Marshalltown Chamber as the recipients of the 2021 Community Impact Award. Hellberg also served as co-chair of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum fundraising committee and helped raise 1 , $ 3 million for restoration efforts.
Now that the beloved building is back in order after suffering significant damage from the 2018 tornado, Hellberg has more plans for the structure. However, he is not yet ready to publicize these plans.
His efforts with the Colosseum aren’t the only things Hellberg does, as he tries his best to keep busy.
“I am active in Rotary and I am probably spending more time with the Jewelers Association of Iowa and I am very active on the ship I served on. “ he said. “Almost every night I work on e-mails to send to my classmates. I stay very, very busy.
Hellberg said he’s not as active as he used to be, and at his age it’s normal to run out of steam faster.
Longtime friend John Boston made sure to stop by Hellberg’s Jewelers for the occasion after seeing the event in the Times-Republican. Helping the people of Marshalltown is something Boston says Hellberg is doing, especially the veterans.
“One word to describe Vic is ‘caring'” Boston said.
Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or [email protected]