In 1940, after nearly twenty years of working for jewelry manufacturing companies, Herbert Florian Krombholz, a third generation metalsmith, purchased the contents of a jewelry store in a neighborhood near downtown Cincinnati. Just one year later he opened the first Herb Krombholz Jewelry store in Silverton, a suburb about 10 minutes north of downtown. Herb’s wife Mallie operated the store while Herb worked days as a foreman for the Croninger Jewelry Manufacturing Company. Herb spent evenings designing jewelry for customers who shopped at his own store.
Throughout the 1950's Herb Krombholz Jewelers flourished in the Silverton (Cincinnati) area. Herb was finally financially able to quit his “day” job and focus on his growing retail store. To keep pace with changing styles and to care for the image of their business, Herb and Mallie installed the latest in lighting, modern store fixtures and decor. Herb Krombholz Jewelers, along with the Schoenberger Men's Shop, received the Planned Lighting Award for excellence from the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co.
In the 1960's, Herb Krombholz Jewelers was tested twice by thieves. Both times the thieves left empty-handed. The first robbery attempt was foiled when Herb Jr. entered the store early in the morning, noticed a hole in the plastered wall and ran one block to the police station for help. The thieves left in such a hurry that they left their tools and a bag of jewelry behind. In the second attempt, the Krombholz father and son team confronted two thieves. When Herb Jr. picked up a shotgun kept in the store and pointed it at the men, his father, 67, grabbed the gun hand of one of them.
After designing and manufacturing jewelry in the Cincinnati area for more than 50 years, owner Herbert F. Krombholz died in 1972. Son Herb then took over the family business. As new owner, Herb Jr. met his share of challenges and transition. In 1974, the jewelry store suffered a fire, where three people were injured and the building was completely destroyed. Also during that time, Herb Jr. anticipated that Cincinnati would grow outward - away from the city and into the suburbs. To be close to his customers, Herb Jr. decided to open a store on Main Street in Montgomery. Montgomery is about 20 minutes northeast of downtown Cincinnati. Today Montgomery is an affluent area and active business district.
In the 1980's, Herb Krombholz's children first became active in the business. Daughter Lynn and son Lee worked part-time at the store throughout high school and college. In 1986 Herb decided it was time to retire and turned much of the business over to Lee and his wife Heather. The 1980's were also a time of expansion and growth. The store was once two small rooms on the west side of the Montgomery, Ohio building, but the Krombholz's then expanded the store into the much larger east side.
In 1998, the store encompassed the entire building, and a second phase of construction and interior design followed in 1999.
In June 2015 Krombholz is celebrating our 75th birthday. The first fifteen years of this decade have been challenging. Change in a broad sense has been a part of the Krombholz business strategy. Some of these changes include an aggressive marketing campaign, a continually evolving web site and a strategy to grow those parts of its business that Krombholz can stand out in. These areas include custom designing, a more unique mix of inventory and a strong presence in the upper end market.
In retrospect, each generation of Krombholz’s have operated their business in different ways that was and is unique them. The underlying element of consistency includes a customer focus and rock solid ethics.