PITTSTON — Gerri Bridal Shoppe was located at 175 N. Main St. for 50 years, but the store now has a new place to call home.
The bridal store is now located at 48 S. Main St. inside the Newrose Building and already feels like home to owners Judy Monko and her daughter Michelle DeBiasi.
DeBiasi feels the move came at a perfect time as the business is entering its 50th year and that it was time for something new.
“(The original location) was dated,” she said. “It served its purpose and it was awesome 50 years ago, but times are changing and we needed to upgrade.”
The new location offers more space, a second floor and extra dressing rooms.
The first floor of the Newrose Building is where customers can buy shoes, jewelry, Spanx undergarments and shop for bridesmaid, matron of honor and mother of the bride dresses.
There are also four dressing rooms.
The second floor is all about the bride — it’s where all bridal dresses are availabel, as well as two dressing rooms.
Store owners are still moving items from the original location and fixing up office spaces, but they are currently operating out of the new location.
There will be one last sale at the original location from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 1.
DeBiasi said she and her mom were approached a two years ago by Main Street Manager Rose Randazzo about relocating into the Newrose Building, something they were reluctant to do at first.
“At first we were like, ‘Who are you? Whose going to move us?’” she said. “It just started snowballing and then Rose Randazzo is really one of the main reasons we moved. Between her and myself we convinced my mom it was the way to go. It’s a brand new look after 50 years.”
Gerri Bridal Shoppe first opened in 1966 by Monko’s mother Regina Jerrytone, who started her career in the wedding business as a bridal consultant at the former Zimmerman’s bridal shop in Wilkes-Barre.
The name of the shop is based off her last name.
“There was already a Regina working (at Zimmerman’s), so they called her Gerri and shortened her last name,” said DeBiasi. “So, when she went to open her own store she didn’t want it to be reflective the Jerrytone name; she wanted her own identity. So she added an ‘I’ at the end of it and put a ‘G’ in front of it, and here we are today.”
After Jerrytone retired in 1994, Monko, who had already spent years working at the shop, took over the family business and has been running it ever since.
Keeping the store in the family has always been a priority for Monko.
“Tradition is important,” she said. “It’s one thing if you don’t like it, but I always loved it. (DeBiasi) is the same way — she tried some other things, but she always came back and finally decided this is what she wants to do.”
With a new location and DeBiasi ready to take over when her mother decides to retire, the future is bright for Gerri Bridal Shoppe.
“The reason I pushed for the move is because my grandmother liked to gamble,” said DeBiasi. “When the city came my mother was very nervous and hesitant, and I looked at her and said, ‘Listen, if Nonna was here she would roll the dice and pull the handle because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so let’s go for it.’ The reason I pushed for the move was to keep her legacy alive.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher