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JB Hudson is once again the talk of the town, having returned with refreshed vigor and a stylish new home at Galleria Edina. In 2021, the iconic luxury jeweler shuttered its doors after a 136-year reign in downtown Minneapolis. Little did clients know that JB Hudson was beginning a new chapter in its illustrious legacy with a quietly orchestrated move to the upscale shopping destination.

A little backstory: In March 2021, family-owned jewelry retailer Gunderson’s acquired JB Hudson from Pohlad Companies, whose diverse business ventures span several sectors (including ownership of the Minnesota Twins). After the Minneapolis store closure, JB Hudson re-emerged in Wayzata, but under the Gunderson’s name. Gunderson’s President Breanne Demers candidly admits that clients were disheartened; they yearned for the JB Hudson they knew and loved.

Photography provided by JB Hudson

“There was never a plan to have JB Hudson go away,” Demers affirms. “We just wanted to make sure that when we re-launched we had it right.”

Behind the scenes, a deal with Galleria Edina was already in motion, and the team was bursting with excitement. The only problem? “We couldn’t announce it yet,” says Demers, who adds that their phones were ringing off the hook. “People were calling with requests to have their jewelry resized or repaired and didn’t want to bring it anywhere else in town.”

Years of anticipation crescendoed with the grand opening at the Galleria last November. The shop’s location was carefully chosen, nestled among premier brands like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. The community response was overwhelming. “We opened the doors to a line of people, and everyone was exchanging hugs and smiles,” Demers warmly recounts of the long-awaited reunion.

Photography provided by Armenta

While JB Hudson’s devoted following is strong, the Gunderson’s team’s unwavering passion for jewelry might just be stronger. “We are deeply rooted in this industry — it’s our sole focus,” Demers says. That commitment shines through in the revamped store. The open-concept space is bathed in natural light, with marbled display cases showcasing the finest jewelry and timepieces.

Fresh aesthetics aren’t the only thing to look forward to. Shoppers can also expect new exclusive lines unavailable anywhere else in Minnesota. Among them is Armenta, a women-owned and -operated artisanal brand offering handcrafted pieces for both men and women. Founder Emily Armenta uses ethically sourced materials such as mixed metals and colored gemstones to create designs brimming with personality and vintage charm.

Photography provided by JB Hudson

Another newcomer (and JB Hudson exclusive) is LAGOS. The brand’s baubles transcend classification, but one category stands out among the rest: cult-favorite caviar bracelets, famous for their roe-inspired beading and timeless shape. And true to a collector’s dream, there are endless styles to choose from — including classic takes in 18-karat gold or sterling silver as well as modern options with colored ceramic beading.

The new locale also features delightful modern touches. Case in point: Male clients can peruse a devoted section that the retailer has dubbed the Man Cave. “It’s an entire area of the store dedicated to men,” says Demers. “And it’s not just wedding bands and watches, but men’s fashion jewelry, too.”

Of course, watches remain a priority for the reimagined JB Hudson. Top Swiss brands Blancpain and Norqain join ranks with favorites like Omega, meaning there’s no shortage of luxury pieces available. Exclusive in-store events, such as the annual men’s watch gathering held at the former location, are also making a comeback — but they’re not limited to timepieces. Diamond enthusiasts can also look forward to happenings highlighting rare styles that aren’t regularly on display.

Although JB Hudson has certainly evolved since its debut in 1885, the team hasn’t strayed from its founding philosophy. They remain wholly devoted to offering Minnesotans the finest luxury jewelry, including access to exclusive designer lines. But some change is good, in this case. The beloved retailer’s subtle yet deliberate shift to embrace modern clients while retaining the loyalty of lifelong patrons is evident and admirable — a welcome fusion of old and new.

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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