Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Jae’s Jewelers honored by Coral Gables Chamber for 70 years of service

Jae’s Jewelers sales manager Jillian Hornik and mother Shelley Hornik celebrate their 2014 Retailer of the Year award at the Diamond Awards luncheon of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.
Jae’s Jewelers sales manager Jillian Hornik and mother Shelley Hornik celebrate their 2014 Retailer of the Year award at the Diamond Awards luncheon of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.

Three generations of the Hornik family have contributed to the success of Jae’s Jewelers in Coral Gables. The business is entering its 70th year after being started by George Hornik in 1945 after he returned from World War II.

Jae’s Jewelers was recently recognized with the 2014 Retailer of the Year award at the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce’s Diamond Awards luncheon. The event was held at the Coral Gables Country Club.

Jennifer Hornik Johnson, who is marketing manager, said her grandfather went to watch-making school in Colorado after the war and moved with his wife to Miami to open their first store. The present store in Coral Gables opened in 1956 and has been in the same location on Miracle Mile for 58 years.

“I grew up in this industry; it's in my blood. I find it meaningful and enduring, challenging and fascinating. And I am so very proud to be a part of a successful American small business —there aren't very many of us left anymore,” she said. “My sister and I are part of a beautiful tradition, literally. And really, it's quite an honor: continuing a family business focused on love and happiness and celebration.”

She and sister Jillian Hornik, the company’s sales manager, represent the third generation at Jae’s Jewelers. The store has been owned and operated by a single family throughout its 70 years.

Jillian Hornik said that before 1956, the store was located around the corner on Ponce De Leon Boulevard, behind the current Hillstone, where Giardino Gourmet Salads is today. She said in an email that she was surrounded by longtime clients, family members and friends when she accepted the Retailer of the Year award, and added that “nominated businesses were judged on various criteria including excellence in business achievement, corporate citizenship, customer service, and workplace environment.”

“These attributes show a commitment to providing exceptional products and services, while accepting the responsibility to address the many needs in our community,” she said.

“The entire Hornik family and Jae’s Jewelers staff is honored to receive such a prestigious award,” Horknik said. “The past year at Jae’s Jewelers has been a very exciting time, with the addition of an e-commerce website and multiple special events. Our customer base and social media presence has grown significantly in a very short period of time, thanks to the efforts of Marketing Manager Jennifer Johnson. Jae’s Jewelers is happy to celebrate our 70th year in business in 2015. We look forward to continuing our tradition of excellent products and services in a friendly atmosphere, for generations to come.”


The Centro Mater Foundation recently hosted an “anti-gala” to raise money for South Florida children in need. The casual community celebration included urban art, music and entertainment and the event raised more than $135,000. Funds raised will go toward the group’s summer program, which annually serves 800 at-risk children.

The alternative to the traditional gala was called Urban MATERs and was held at MAPS Backlot in Wynwood. The event doubled as a creative kickoff to the city’s art season.

“We are thrilled to have hosted such a successful event which brought together different generations of Centro Mater supporters and community members in an imaginative way,” Centro Mater Foundation President Claudia de la Cruz wrote in an email. “This event could have not been possible without the support of our individual and corporate event sponsors. Their generosity will enhance the lives of many children and families.”

The Centro Mater Foundation helps the efforts of Centro Mater Child Care Services, a nonprofit organization that provides quality care and education to economically disadvantaged youths. Its young professional group Future Matters helped host the evening.

For more about Centro Mater Foundation and Centro Mater Child Care Services, visit To see photos and learn more about the anti-gala check out:


More and more businesses are getting involved with giving back to their communities. Here are some recent acts of helping:

▪ Employees from Home Financing Center helped spread holiday cheer and smiles to sick children at Miami Children's Hospital by volunteering with Radio Lollipop, the hospital’s in-house radio station. The employees and the Radio Lollipop team asked children for their music requests and also helped with arts and crafts projects. The volunteers gave out prizes to each child.​

▪ The Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation is giving more than $250,000 to benefit 26 South Florida nonprofits in collaboration with its Winn-Dixie stores. This is in addition to the more than $580,000 and 3,023,348 pounds of food Winn-Dixie is working to reinvest in the South Florida community by the end of 2014. Funds and food are raised through contributions from store customers, business partners, associates and company dollars. The Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation grant recipients in Miami-Dade County are: Camillus House; Curley’s House of Style; Family Resource Center of South Florida; Food of Life Outreach Ministries; Greater Miami Jewish Federation; Jewish Community Services of South Florida; La Liga Contra el Cancer; and Miami Children’s Health Foundation.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at