Back in the Days: For the Love of Day's

(Image: Portland Day's on Main Street)

For many of us, falling in love is the beginning of a lifetime journey of experiences and adventures. For Robert Corey, and the future of the Corey family, there was no way of knowing just how true this would become. 

Robert Corey

After returning from military service and making his way to Caribou, Maine to open and manage the most recent expansion store in the ever growing Day’s business, Robert met Enid Sleeper. Standing at just 5’ ¾” (“and mom never let you forget that ¾ of an inch”, her son, Jeff, says) she was a strong and empowered woman of the business industry; what Jeff Corey calls “a feisty Lebanese woman and a true merchant”. As a lover of the business world, and a dedicated, longtime employee of one of the fastest growing jewelry chains in the country, it’s no wonder why Robert fell in love with the woman who would encourage him to push his limits and reach the potential he was living for. 

 

(Image Left: Robert Corey)

Shortly after their marriage, Enid began discussing her dreams of opening their own business with Robert. He was comfortable where he was in his career and wasn’t sure that he needed to take on a project that would be as large as what Enid was proposing. After enough pestering, though, Enid was able to convince Robert that he shouldn’t settle for the comfort of what he had when he could be reaching so much further. She could see their potential, he just needed her to point it out!

Robert's Jewelry Storefront

With Enid’s go-getter attitude and Robert’s strong knowledge and experience in the jewelry industry, they embarked on a journey that would span lifetimes. As the Day’s business continued to dominate the jewelry industry, Robert knew that their new jewelry store wouldn’t stand a chance in any area that already had a Day’s store nearby. So, with this in mind, they packed their things and moved their lives up to the small town of Madawaska, Maine to open their very own fine jewelry store: Robert’s Jewelry. It was here that they would need to overcome miles of obstacles in order to blossom into a successful family business.                                                                   (Image Right: Robert's Jewelry Storefront)

Immediately, they faced the most difficult barrier that could come up: a language barrier. Neither Enid nor Bob (Robert) spoke any French, but the town of Madawaska was a highly French speaking area. They did their best to work with the limited abilities they had, but soon realized that it would be of benefit to them to hire a French speaking employee to translate, take orders, and make sales. However, even after hiring their first employee, the customers still wanted to work with Bob for their orders. Why would this be the case even with the severe language barrier in place? It’s because Robert Corey had a gift for communication. “Dad was special,” Jeff Corey remembers, “he could speak to people and communicate so directly without words.” It was this emotional connection with his customers that earned Bob the respect and appreciation of anyone who entered his store. 

Alongside his sincerity and ability to connect with his customers, regardless of the language they spoke, came a deep desire to take care of his customers and community members. Madawaska was not the type of town that would normally give great success to a fine jewelry store. It was a low income, neighbors helping neighbors type of area, and in order to survive, Robert’s Jewelers would need to fit in, or be driven out. Luckily, Bob truly cared for his customers and worked hard to meet their needs, being flexible with payments and helping go the extra mile to make sure that the hard earned money they spent at his store was truly worth it. In doing so, he was able to create a business model that prioritized the customer, rather than the company, and, in turn, the company flourished. Soon enough, Enid and Robert Corey were able to bring home the money they needed to feed a growing family of their own. Little did they know, their growing family would someday come full circle, owning the original Day’s Jewelers company. But, this story isn’t there yet…

Corey Family - 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image: Corey Family - 1996)

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See you next time!

Kyra Zabel

Kyra Zabel

Creative Content & Copywriter