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Salt Lake City jewelers, florists benefit from same-sex weddings

Published December 24, 2013 12:18 pm

Retail • Many scramble to meet demand during already-busy holiday season.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As one of the closest jewelry stores to the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office, Stroud Jewelers saw a bump in business when a federal judge cleared the way Friday for same-sex marriage in Utah.

"It's been pretty awesome," said Zealand Stroud, adding his store always has done good business with same-sex couples. "We've had quite a few come in and want to commemorate their love for each other. It's pretty neat."

Some jewelers, florists and bakeries in the heart of Salt Lake City reported surges in their already busy holiday-season business when the Salt Lake County clerk began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby declared Utah law prohibiting same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Ashley Jacobsen of Granite Bakery said her business received a number of calls ordering wedding cakes that day.

"We can't do the big three-tier cakes, but we did quite a few fancy or single-tier [cakes]," she said. "The first day caught us by surprise but we were ready for the next two."

Gary Notwell of Art Floral saw an unexpected jump in business. So, too, did Cindy Haskins at Huddart Floral.

"We saw some very excited people coming in and we're really happy for them," Haskins said.

Joe Maughan, known as "Joe the Jeweler" at 9th and 9th Jewelers, said his store was already popular with the LBGT community, and he has benefited from the weddings.

"We've definitely seen a few more than normal. They were all heading to the courthouse," he said of about helping gay couples get ready for their weddings.

Chris Howard of Fankauser Jewelry in Sugar House said his store was closed Sunday and Monday. But he was greeted with a text this morning from a customer asking him if he would be open Tuesday to sell a wedding ring.

Not all businesses saw a spike, however. Williams Jewelers had not seen any jump due to gay marriages. Neither had Bennion's Jewelers in downtown Salt Lake City.

"Wedding rings have been real slow so far," said Kathy Lawrence at Bennion's. "I thought we'd see a jump, but we didn't."

wharton@sltrib.com

Twitter @tribtomwharton