New owners at jewelry store

By Mackenzi Klemann -

VAN WERT — A long-time employee is the new owner of Laudick’s Jewelry stores in Van Wert and Coldwater.

Mike Lichtle and his wife, Amanda, bought the family-owned business on Jan. 1. But Lichtle plans to keep the Laudick name and traditions.

“Even though I’m not a Laudick, I’ve always felt like one,” he said. “They’ve treated me like family. The family tradition is always going to stay going forward.”

Lichtle starting working for Laudick’s part-time when he was 16 years old and has continued helping the family in a variety of roles ever since. So when the family decided to sell, Lichtle said it made sense for him to take over.

“It’s a tradition I want to keep going for years on end,” he explained.

Robert and Rosella Laudick opened the first store in 1950. The business now has two locations and has passed through three generations of the Laudick family, including Steve and Deb Laudick and their daughter, Katie Laudick-Harting. The Laudick family will maintain a presence in the store during the transition period. Lichtle even plans to keep photos of the Laudick family hanging in the stores to preserve the business’ family atmosphere.

“I want to be the jewelry store beside Wendy’s,” Lichtle said. “That’s what we are. … To me it’s a staple in the community.”

An open house was planned for 4-6 p.m. today at the Van Wert store to recognize the new owners.

By Mackenzi Klemann

Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.

Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.

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