After 85 Years, Local Jewelry Store Gets a New Family

LAKELAND, FL November 17, 2017 – Gina and Dean Saunders announced today that they are purchasing a local downtown Lakeland landmark, Geo. L. Gaines Jeweler, Inc. Dean Saunders is the founder and owner of Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate, with offices on Munn Park just a block away from the jewelry store. His wife, Gina will be managing the operations of the retail store, which has been run by the Gaines family since it was founded in 1935.

“Gaines is a rare jewel downtown,” said Gina Saunders. “Only a few shops offer continuity dating back to the midcentury and we want to preserve the unique experience for years to come.”

The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority (LDDA), a special taxing district whose mission is to improve and stimulate the environment for economic development, reacted positively to the news that the landmark store would continue to operate downtown.

“A mix of office, retail, and restaurants is vital to the success of Downtown,” said Julie Townsend, the Executive Director of the LDDA. “We are so glad to see Gaines Jewelers will remain. It helps our efforts to recruit more retail to Downtown Lakeland.”

The store’s current owner, Suzanne Grant, was married to John “Dick” Gaines. They began operating the family business together in the 1980’s and she continued after his death in 2014. They have been active in supporting local non-profits, particularly arts and humanities organizations like Polk Museum of Art, The Imperial Symphony Orchestra, and Polk Theatre

“I am thrilled that the Gaines tradition will be carried on,” said Grant. “Our family cares deeply about the community, and we know that Gina and Dean share our commitment to local business and community service.”

The sale is scheduled to close on November 30.

About Geo. L. Gaines Jeweler, Inc.

Family-owned since 1935, George L. Gaines Jeweler Inc. offers beautiful accessories, fine china, skillfully crafted crystal, adorable gifts for babies, elegant giftware, and custom pieces. In addition, services include high-end watch repair, baby and bridal registries, complimentary wrapping, and delivery.



Gina Saunders

Geo. L Gaines Jeweler, Inc.