This story was updated on Oct. 27, 2020 at 12:54 p.m. to correct the spelling of Frank Varallo's name.
One of Chattanooga's oldest jewelry retailers has a new owner that is expanding into Tennessee for the first time.
The Fink's jewelry chain, which began in Roanoke, Virginia in 1930 and has since expanded across Virginia and North Carolina, recently acquired Rone Regency Jewelers in Chattanooga from Bob and Sherry Mason.
Rone Regency celebrated its 75th anniversary last year and rebranded its Gunbarrel Road store earlier this month under the Fink's name.
Fink's is the biggest luxury watch and jewelry retail chain in Virginia and North Carolina with 10 showrooms in Roanoke, Forest, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach and Richmond in Virginia and in Raleigh, Charlotte, Huntersvile and Durham in North Carolina.
"We've looked at a lot of jewelry businesses, but we just felt that the Chattanooga market was a really good fit for us and that Rone Regency was aligned with a lot of our customer service principles and our businesses really fit well together," said Matthew Fink, the president of Fink's who is part of the fourth generation to work at his family-owned retail chain. "We're not actively out looking to acquire other stores, but we are interested in growing in markets where it makes sense and we definitely think Chattanooga and Rone Regency made a lot of sense for us and we're very happy to be able to partner with Bob and Sherry Mason."
Mason, 71, bought Rone Regency in 1970 from founder Frank Varallo, who died in 2013. Varallo, who started Rone Regency downtown in 1944, moved the store in 1960 to Brainerd Village at a time when Brainerd was growing and expanding. In 2009, Mason relocated the jewelry store again into its current 7,849-square-foot storefront at 1950 Gunbarrel Road.
The Masons and Fink began discussions about selling the Chattanooga store in January before the coronavirus pandemic shut down many retail businesses. The deal ultimately completed in early September and the store was recently renamed to Fink's jewelers.
Rone Regency was authorized to sell Rolex, TAG Heuer and Breitling, which are also sold by Fink's. The new owner will be adding the David David Yurman jewelry brand by November as well as adding the watch brand Tudor and the Mikimoto jewelry brand to the store portfolio, Fink said.
Fink's was started in 1930 by Nathan Fink, a pharmacist who started pushing a jewelry cart around the streets of downtown Roanoke selling jewelry on credit. The storefront that later opened sold not only jewelry but everything from Samsonite Luggage to Sunbeam kitchen appliances.
Fink's is now one of America's 50 biggest jewelry retailers.
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