Yampell Jewelers Still in Limbo
With customers left in the dark and workers dismantling the shop, the reopening of the venerable Haddonfield jeweler appears to be delayed.
The reopening of Samuel S. Yampell Jewelry store appears to have hit a snag, much to the chagrin of longtime customers and employees.
Just over a month ago, an employee there said store owners planned to move from 104 Kings Highway East to a smaller location across the street by mid-February. That hasn't happened and no one can, or will, say why.
"I don’t know what’s going on. I really truly don’t," said Sam Temple, who managed Yampell, and said the owner, part of a family that has run the store for 83 years, told him he would reopen last month. "I’ll just take my time and find something else."
Temple said he is on unemployment now, but still tries to help former customers get their jewelry back.
"I have appointments almost every day," he said. "I just go to their houses. Most of them are my friends. I’m just trying to take care of them. A lot of people have my cell phone number. There's lots of jewelry still there."
Temple said he does this on his own time, without pay.
Several calls over the last two weeks to Sam Yampell, the shop owner, were not returned.
Three customers have reached out to Haddonfield Patch for help since our Jan. 28 story, in which Temple said the shop would reopen soon. One of them, a 28-year-old teacher from Glassboro, said it took more than three weeks and multiple phone calls to Yampell's cell phone to get his wife's engagement ring back.
"He got it from my wife on Valentine's Day and said it would be done in three or four days," said the teacher, who asked that his name not be used. That was more than two weeks after Yampell's closed. He started calling Yampell 10 days later and finally got his ring back Tuesday.
"He met me in a parking lot behind his old shop," the teacher said. "I asked him if he was still relocating and he said the deal had fallen through. He said he was working on another location to move to on Kings Highway."
The teacher said Yampell started to charge him for the ring repair, but he told him he'd have to send a check. At that point, Yampell told him not to worry about it, he said.
The man said he "trusted" Yampell, even though the ordeal to get the ring repaired started in the same clandestine way it ended. He said Yampell picked up the ring from his wife in the parking lot of Wegmans supermarket on Route 70 in Cherry Hill. Yampell met her there after returning a cell phone call. He gave her a receipt and took the ring, the teacher said.
Yampell told them he was in the midst of moving. That's why he came to Wegmans to pick up the ring.
The teacher said, in hindsight, he wouldn't do it again.
"That was two years of savings there I was fighting to get back," he said.
The man said he took the ring to an appraiser after the repair and all seemed in order. He said he wished Yampell no ill will.
"I'm not trying to wreck his business," he said.
Last week, workers were dismantling display cases at Yampell. They told a reporter they were being moved to Philadelphia.
A sign remained on the window:
"It is with heavy heart after 83 years of serving you, our valued customers and friends, Samuel S. Yampell Jewelers have been forced to close our doors. We have appreciated the opportunity to serve you."
A phone number, 856-298-1438, is listed for questions about the shop. Several calls there were not returned.
Don't be the last to know what's happening around town. Sign up for Haddonfield Patch's newsletters and stay in the know.