Independents

The Mexican Shack to Close After 47 Years

IndependentsMay 25, 2022

The Mexican Shack to Close After 47 Years

Owner Steve Delzio shares his thoughts on retirement after nearly five decades in the jewelry industry.

The Mexican Shack, seen here at its original location, is closing its doors after 47 years.
Somers, New York—The year was 1973 and would-be jeweler Steve Delzio was packing up his van full of the treasures he’d uncovered during his excursion out west.

He was on a journey to learn more about Native American and Mexican culture, but his parents’ 25th anniversary celebration beckoned him back to his hometown of Somers, New York.

Delzio planned to sell his trinkets to fund his trip, and the response from buyers was overwhelmingly positive, so much so that he found himself traveling out west again to stock up.

He spent two years forging relationships with Native American artists, making several trips a year to Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico.

In 1975, Delzio rented a 600-square-foot space in his hometown to sell his haul, stocked with everything from hand-painted clay pots to turquoise jewelry.

He dubbed his store “The Mexican Shack.”


Delzio’s venture was successful, and in 1989, construction began on a new, larger property.

In 1990, the new Mexican Shack opened, with more than 4,000 square feet of space. More than 30 years later, he still refers to it as the “new store.”

It may seem an unconventional name for a jewelry store, but when he polled his customers about renaming the new store, they insisted he keep it.

Next month, 47 years after its opening, The Mexican Shack will hold a retirement sale.

“We’ve had a good 47 years. So I just thought it was time to sit back,” Delzio said in an interview with National Jeweler.

Delzio is approaching 70 and he, and his longtime staff, are ready to call it a day.

While the store may be closing, Delzio isn’t exactly retiring.

“I do look forward to starting an online presence. Nothing crazy. I just want to get up in the morning, put a couple of pieces online and see what happens and go from there,” he said.

He’d also like to exhibit at some smaller shows, reaching out to customers on his email list to let them know where he’ll be.

Running a retail store requires long hours, and Delzio said he’s ready to set his own schedule. 

But it’s a bittersweet moment.

“I am going to miss my customers so much,” he said.

Delzio shared news of his retirement sale on the store’s social channels, including Facebook and Instagram, and the response from customers moved him to tears.


“I'm sitting down here in Florida. We took a week off, came down here and I’m on the beaches in tears, [knowing] that we touched people’s lives in such a way,” he said.

“My customers are my customers, and [they are also] my friends and family. We’ve had a long, long ride together.”

One woman wrote to him, frantic that he now wouldn’t be able to make her wedding ring.

“I said, ‘I’ll take care of you. Don’t worry.’ And she said, ‘Oh, you made my day,’” recalled Delzio.

When Delzio returns from Florida, he’ll take a trip to New York’s Diamond District on 47th Street, a weekly tradition he’ll miss, to inform longtime friends and colleagues that he’ll be closing his store and won’t be around as often.


When his customers think of The Mexican Shack, Delzio hopes they’ll remember how involved he and his family have been with the community.

In 2017, the Somers Chamber of Commerce honored Delzio for his years of contributions to the community, highlighting his commitment to education and the preservation of historical artifacts.

The store has been featured in The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles several times.

“The high quality Indian jewelry designs and materials, along with fine craftsmanship, attracts a devoted following. Their pieces reflect an inherent awareness of popular culture, while still paying tribute to their cultural [roots],” wrote the publication, as per the store’s website.

The store is closed for vacation as of May 16, with the retirement sale set to begin June 1.

“It’s just a very unique business. Very, very unique. And it’s different. I’m really proud of it,” said Delzio.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

Weekly QuizJan 26, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
FinancialsJan 27, 2023
Tiffany & Co. Shines for LVMH in 2022

Acquired in 2021, the brand’s high jewelry sales have doubled and its new “Lock” collection was an instant hit.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.

CollectionsJan 26, 2023
NDC and Lorraine Schwartz Announce New ‘EDDI’ Class

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative provides diamond credit and mentorship to young brands helmed by BIPOC designers.

Policies & IssuesJan 26, 2023
Diamonds Do Good Names 10 to Board of Directors

Stephanie Gottlieb, Jewelers Mutual’s Mike Alexander, and Craig Rottenberg of Long’s Jewelers are among the new board members.

WatchesJan 25, 2023
These Were 2022’s Top-Selling Watch Brands, Chrono24 Says

Rolex remained No. 1 while a brand known for its pilot watches slipped into the No. 5 spot.

MajorsJan 25, 2023
John Hardy Names New CEO

Luxury retail executive Frédéric Levy has taken on the role.

Events & AwardsJan 25, 2023
Couture DAC Accepting Applications for Mentorship Program

Jewelry designers have until early February to apply to take part in Couture's Diversity Action Council program.

CollectionsJan 25, 2023
Stephanie Gottlieb Announces First President, CCO Hire

Morgan P. Richardson joins from La Perla.

Policies & IssuesJan 25, 2023
PGI’s New Portal Wants to Teach You About Platinum

The new portal will share information on responsible platinum sourcing and how it’s used beyond jewelry.

SourcingJan 24, 2023
Tiffany Buys 35 of the Last Diamonds Recovered From Argyle

Purchased directly from Rio Tinto, the collection consists of pinks, purples and one red, none larger than 1.52 carats.

ColumnistsJan 24, 2023
On Data: Here’s How Independent Jewelers Did in 2022

Sherry Smith breaks down retailers’ performance last year, including how natural diamonds fared vs. lab-grown.

GradingJan 24, 2023
GIA and AGS Launch Diamond Light Performance Supplement Report

The AGS Ideal Report by GIA is a digital-only addition to GIA diamond reports.

MajorsJan 24, 2023
WJA Announces New International Board Members

The seven newcomers include executives from David Yurman, De Beers, and GIA.

EditorsJan 23, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Aurelia Demark

The designer finds the modernity in classic motifs and family heirloom jewels.

Policies & IssuesJan 23, 2023
Melanie Grant Named Executive Director of RJC

She has more than 20 years’ experience in watches and jewelry, and says sustainability is the “greatest single issue” facing the industry.

Policies & IssuesJan 23, 2023
AGTA Forms Committee to Standardize Industry ‘Sustainability’ Terms

Its focus are words like “sustainability,” “ethics,” and “responsible sourcing.”

MajorsJan 20, 2023
Quality Gold Acquires Herco

Herco President Reuven Itelman is retiring and selling the company, which will relocate to Ohio from California.

Lab-GrownJan 20, 2023
Siobhán Duffy Promoted to Chief Executive of Element Six

She was previously the executive director of sales and marketing for the De Beers Group-owned company.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy