Debit cards have become a part of everyday life as a means to pay for all manner of goods from large items down to snacks at convenience stores. As a result, the jingle of change and the exchange of paper money is becoming less and less common. The art of money that can be seen in the detailed printing and engravings on currency is becoming harder to see. However, one family in Clarke County is leveraging their vast experience with numismatics to provide a glimpse into this art and a resource for collectors.
The Family Trust will open its doors on May 1st to launch a new retail business in downtown Berryville on N. Church Street. This genuine family business is owned and operated by Jennifer and Chris Muenzer, sibling Edward Hayes and parents John & Sandy Gulde who are all Clarke County residents and who represent two generations of numismatists.
The new Berryville shop will be the fourth retail location opened by family members. The three others operated in California, Arizona, and Ohio. When asked why they selected Berryville as a location for their new business, Jennifer said, “We moved to Virginia from Arizona and I was doing a lot of local coin shows. I started to develop a large group of regular customers, so we decided it was the perfect time and place to open a shop.” She also expressed her hope that their business will not only succeed, but contribute to the economy of the town. “We have a huge customer base so we are hoping that customers coming into our shop will also help the Berryville local economy.”
Currently, Jennifer’s customers travel from locations that span from Charles Town to Vienna. “We already cover a wide area. As we grow we hope to see people come from all over the Shenandoah Valley as well.”
The Family Trust will focus on currency, but will also include the buying and selling of precious metals. Jennifer notes,”We will have a large selection of coins, everything from regular gold and silver bullion coins to collectors coins as well as paper money like national notes. We will also buy and sell everything from regular bullion to scrap jewelry and silverware.”
Co-owner, Ed Hayes added that they monitor prices on gold and silver and purchase the precious metals based on up to the the minute numbers.
The store is bright and full of display cases for product, however upon entering, the massive safe in the corner draws the most attention. “Security is an important issue with our business,” Jennifer noted, “For insurance we have to have many layers of security.”
Those layers begin at the front door. While the business is open to the public, the entrance is not. Visitors must buzz in to gain entry. When the doors close for the day valuables are returned to the safe for protection during the overnight hours. The owners also installed closed circuit cameras that monitor the space inside and out.
Jennifer and Ed will be the primary staff for the store and are diligently working on their inventory to prepare for their grand opening. The store will be open from 9;30 a.m – 5;30 p.m. May 1st and will feature a ribbon cutting at 10:30 by Mayor Wilson Kirby. There will be raffles throughout the day for prizes including: a 1/10 Gold American Eagle, 2012 Silver Eagle , 2012 Proof Set, Confederate Note, and a Virginia Treasury Note.