Tyler institution Joyner-Fry closing its doors after 75 years
After more than seven decades, a Tyler institution is closing its doors for good.
Men's clothing boutique, Joyner-Fry, announced it is going out of business.
69-year-old Steve Fry says his grandfather started Joyner Fry in the early 1930s.
Through 75 years in Tyler, it went through four locations, including downtown to Bergfeld Center, where it stands now.
In 1976 Fry bought the business from his father.
After 50 years of working with the store, Fry, his wife and colleague Jack Blaschke are retiring.
"At my age, its somewhat of a strain ... we've just decided the time has come," Fry said.
Blashke has been in retail for 50 years as well, with Joyner-Fry for 23 of those years.
"We're just like a family," Blaschke said.
Retirement, Fry and Blaschke both say, is something they are more than ready for.
"My wife will maybe kick me out of the house and I'll find some volunteer work or something else to do," Blaschke said.
There's only one thing that will be hard to part with.
"Just the friends over the years is what were gonna miss," Fry said.
Saying goodbye even for the customers is bittersweet.
"You come into the place, you deal with the owner, somebody who cares about you, the product and customers, and that's just so special," said longtime customer Joe Taylor.
But unlike many small businesses these days, the people behind Joyner-Fry are proud to say they are closing because they're ready.
"I've done this for 50 years," Fry said. "I feel very good about it."
Fry says they plan on closing the store sometime in December, or when they sell all of their merchandise, whichever comes first.
Joyner in "Joyner-Fry" comes from a man named Tom Joyner, Fry says, who helped run the store with his father many years ago before he took over.