SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Local Springfield jewelry store Manoli’s is closing. 

“I’m tired, I’ve been in the jewelry business for 44 years,” Valerie Savvenas said. 

Savvenas, the owner, says she is stepping away from jewelry. 

“We’ve been in retail for about 37 years and my husband just died in December and I can’t do this by myself,” Savvenas said. 

Valerie’s husband, Manoli, achieved fame in professional wrestling as Mike Pappas or ‘The Flying Greek’.  

The two settled down in Springfield post-wrestling and worked on a passion they both shared. 

“My husband actually started in jewelry when he was 12,” Valerie Savvenas said. “In Greece, if you weren’t good at school, you learned a trade, so he started learning everything by hand. Then, he got into sports and wrestling and boxing. And then when he got tired of that, we had an opportunity to move here.” 

Now, nearly three months after Manoli Savvenas passed, the store that shares his name is closing. 

“I got a lot of memories, I’ve been coming into the store all my life,” said Dino Savvenas, one of Valerie’s and Manoli’s kids. “There’s some equipment that has actually been sold and other jewelry that, you know, I told another person that works here that it used to be in my jungle gym. I used to swing around on it.” 

The Savvenas family says the uniqueness of their work helped keep their business going in Springfield. 

“My husband did all of the bench work. I’m a gemologist, so we had our own kind of areas. There’s nobody here that can set a stone or size a ring or anything like that,” Valerie Savvenas said. 

“The kind of jewelry stores today typically do not have a bench jeweler with [Manoli’s] skills in them,” Rita Wade, a consultant helping with the closing said. “There are many right here in Springfield, but there are few and far between that have Manoli’s skills.” 

With limited time until the doors close for good, it’ll be the end of an era. 

“Well, for those that didn’t come, they missed out,” Dino said. “You know, my dad was one of a kind. My mom is, too. My dad was more of the showman, but they were both, they were a partnership.”