By Aphrodite Kotrotsios, Publisher

Somerset, NJ—On Friday, October 4, 2019, Venus Jewelers celebrated their 40th anniversary with a grand celebration that included many esteemed officials and leaders of the Franklin Township community.  It was voted “Best of the Best” in Somerset County by Courier News and it has been proclaimed that it’s “Where NJ Gets Engaged”.

L-R: Jason Stavrianidis, Dora (Stavrianidis) Fountoukidis, and Dr. Peter Stavrianidis.

Mayor Philip Kramer presented Dr. Peter Stavrianidis, principal owner and visionary of the Venus establishment, with a proclamation bestowing the honor of October 4th as Venus Jewelers Day in Franklin Township.  “It is such an honor.  If my later father George could see what we’ve built today, I’m sure he would be so proud to see the family legacy grow beyond his wildest dreams.  My sister Dora, my son Jason and my whole team, stand here humbled, proud and so thankful to this community and to everyone who joined us for our 40th anniversary,” Dr. Stavrianidis expressed.

Family-owned since 1979, it is now in its fifth generation of leadership.  Jason Stavrianidis has officially announced that he will be involved with the family business.  Jason is currently studying finance while attending to all activities of Venus Jewelers.  He has inspired a new era of educating the public on diamonds, gems, and timepieces through social media.  You can find him at Venus Jewelers at all times waiting to graciously welcome you to his store.  

L-R: Jason Stavrianidis, Liz Barrood and Dr. Peter Stavrianidis.

In an effort to celebrate and give back to the community, Jason hosted a $10,000 give-away where he would post clues online and people would treasure hunt. “To be honest, I was not expecting so many people to participate.  Seeing families, friends and children come out to participate in our treasure hunt filled me with joy.  Everyone was having so much fun.  This is what Venus Jewelers is all about,” Jason remarked.

He also hosted a “Digging for Diamonds” event at the Franklin Day Festival, where he built a sandbox and buried diamonds and gems in the sand.  He ended up raising over $1,000 which was all donated to Town Clock CDC, a non-profit organization that provides permanent and affordable housing to victims of domestic violence.

Venus Jewelers was inspired by Jason’s great grandfather, Panagiotis, who started his own jewelry store in Athens, Greece in the 1930s.  Later on, his son George moved to New Jersey in the 1960s with his family.

Dora (Stavrianidis) Fountoukidis, and Dr. Peter Stavrianidis.

In 1979, he built Venus Jewelers in Somerset, New Jersey, where it still stands today. Jason works alongside his father, Dr. Peter Stavrianidis, a renowned gemologist and aunt, Mrs. Dora Fountoukidis. As a result, the family tradition and legacy carry on. 

Phillip Kramer, the mayor of Franklin Township.

“We hope to continue to grow and serve our community and many valued clients for the next 40 years.  In addition, I aspire to expand our presence on social media and further combine our way of life with the newest technologies that the jewelry industry has to offer.  This isn’t just a job for me.  It’s my life!  It’s my sincere wish to be able to fill my grandfathers, fathers, and aunt Dora’s shoes, and continue the Venus Jewelers tradition with passion and commitment,” Jason said

Main Photo Caption: L-R: Councilwoman Kimberly Francois, Phillip Kramer, the mayor of Franklin Township, Dora (Stavrianidis) Fountoukidis, and Dr. Peter Stavrianidis.