Steve Boucher inside Boucher Jewelers, the family store where he worked for 42 years (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
Boucher Jewelers has been a staple of the Keizer community since its birth in 1953, and one of the stalwarts of the company for the last four decades has been Steve Boucher.
Boucher, who is the son of store founders Ray and Louise, has been working at Boucher Jewelers for the last 42 years. But on Monday, March 2, Boucher worked his final shift at Keizer’s first jewelry store and is now looking forward to his next stage of life — retirement.
“It just felt like the right time to step down,” Boucher said.
Boucher cited that his main reason for retirement was to gain the freedom to spend more time with family. Both his sons, Greyson and Landon live in southern California. Additionally, Landon and his wife, Aolani, welcomed their first child into the world in late-February.
Boucher is also hoping to buy an RV with his wife, Molly, and travel across the U.S.
“We want to try and go down south more often and take longer stays. At this point, I feel like the staff that runs everything, they’re just so capable,” Boucher said.
Boucher began working at the jewelry store in 1978, but has owned the store with his brother, Jeff, since 1990. Steve plans to sell his share of the company to his brother. Once Jeff retires, the business will likely be taken over by Jeff’s children, Amber, Shelby and Brycen — Amber and Shelby currently work at the shop.
“I feel super confident because they are so capable and they are so smart and they are hard workers. That’s what it really takes,” Boucher said. “The next generation, they are going to do it their way.”
Similar to his folks, Keizer holds a special place in Boucher’s heart.
“My mom and dad were so community driven, but I ended up loving Keizer as much as they did,” Boucher said. “Watching Keizer grow from this tiny community to what it is now has been amazing. It’s just such a great place.”
Boucher has taken great pride in his work throughout his entire career, but what he is most proud of is the reputation that Boucher’s Jewelers has built in this community over the years.
“We have so many people that come in the store saying that all their friends told them they have to come here. That is really satisfying. We have been here for so long. It’s super hard these days to have a small business that is competitive,” Boucher said. “It is satisfying for me and Jeff to create a beautiful piece of jewelry.”
While he is looking forward to retirement, Boucher will miss the workplace that he called home for more than 40 years.
“We’re lucky we can get to an age where we can retire, but it’s sad to leave the store because it’s what I have done for 42 years. It’s been a great gig. I have loved it here. It has never felt like work to me. Everyone here works super hard, but I don’t think anyone in our store feels like this is a hard job or a job that they don’t like,” Boucher said. “When I get to work, I feel like I’m at home. The people of Keizer have been so great in supporting our family.”
But at the end of the day, it’s not the work that Boucher will miss, it’s the relationships.
“All the people and all the connection to the community. That is definitely what I will miss the most,” Boucher said.