By Michele J. Kuhn
RED BANK – The tradition, sparkle, service and elegance endure, it’s the location and the welcoming of new partners that are different at Rumson China & Glass.
The store, a staple of the Two River area since 1969, has moved from its home on River Road to a bright new space at 105 Broad St., next to Tiffany & Co. The grand opening is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.
Rumson China & Glass was opened in 1969 by Robert and Barbara Edwards and was managed until 1996 by Robert Edward’s sister Adele Arslan. Barbara Edwards and her daughter, Jennifer Edwards, became fully involved in the store 16 years ago. This year they were joined by partners Silvia and Stephen Culver.
The move to Red Bank was made to increase the visibility of the store.
“We decided to move here to hopefully grow the business and take it to the next level,” Jennifer said. “We will have a whole new website that will be debuting soon. The store will continue to offer full service gifts, tabletop and home accessories.”
The store also will continue to sell crystal lighting – chandeliers and lamps – plus such items as corporate gifts, decorative accessories and men’s and baby gifts. Brides, many of whom come from a long line of Rumson China & Glass customers, will be able to go upstairs and complete their registries. The beautiful gift-wrap the store has been known for and other services, like local delivery, will remain.
“We really tried to keep the services we had before the same but we are expanding on everything,” Jennifer Edwards said. “It’s a different space but we think we have captured the tradition that has been Rumson China & Glass for so many years. We have created a more modern and fresh place to shop, in keeping with the times.”
The Edwardses and Culvers are excited about the new space. It’s a location that Jennifer Edwards had been looking at for a long time, back to the time when it was the Roots building. They have been welcomed by neighboring businesses and see the shop as being a complement to nearby retail establishments, like Tiffany & Co. and Garmany. “I think it is good for all of us,” Jennifer Edwards said.
“This is just a great space,” she said of the shop that is handicapped accessible and has customer parking. “We are so happy to be here.”
The Edwardses are also pleased to be in a partnership with the Culvers.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity that having Stephen and Silvia as partners has given us,” Jennifer Edwards said. “My mom and I have been at this a long time and it’s nice to have fresh insight and their keen business sense. We’re very excited about that.”
The store was originally an outgrowth of Robert and Barbara Edwards love of travel and collecting beautiful things. Robert Edwards invented the first pager, which could display a message, and he was known as “the father of paging,” Jennifer Edwards said.
The store has always been a place where clients could visit and find a wide range of price points from which to choose. “You can buy a gift for $25 or $2,500 … We really do have a very wide array,” Jennifer Edwards said.
While the store also has been a place where many celebrities, business notables and those in the arts and entertainment have shopped or have been the recipient of gifts, the Edwardses decline to discuss the names of those clients or recipients.
Another aspect of relocating to Red Bank that excites the owners of Rumson China & Glass is the sense of community in the borough among business owners who are known for participating in town and charity events. The shop’s first event as a member of the business community will be the Oct. 11 Girl’s Night Out event, sponsored by RiverCenter.
“It’s nice to feel you are part of the community. In Rumson, we always felt like we were part of the community and with the new store we will continue that,” she said.
The store owners have decided to keep the name Rumson China & Glass, even with the move to Red Bank, because of the reputation the establishment has gained over the years. ”And,” Jennifer Edwards said, Red Bank and Rumson are “all part of the extended community here.”
As the Edwardses and Culvers settle into the new space, they are looking at ways to grow the business, increase their merchandise lines and expand into other areas or décor and gifts.
“We really don’t know where this is going to take us,” Jennifer Edwards said, “but there certainly will be something for everyone.”