Hofmeister jewelry business files Chapter 11

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One of the city’s best-known jewelry stores is seeking to reorganize under the protection of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In its April 13 filing, Hofmeister Personal Jewelers Inc. at 3809 E. 82nd St. listed assets of nearly $3.8 million and liabilities of $5.4 million.

The northeast-side jeweler’s largest debts include a loan balance of almost $2.5 million to the downtown Indianapolis office of Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank for inventory, accounts receivables, equipment and furniture, the federal court filing said.

The filing also includes dozens of unsecured claims, including $1.1 million owed to Gems One Corp. in New York for inventory and $300,000 to PNC Bank for a townhome in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Hofmeister also owes $36,215 in sales tax to the Indiana Department of Revenue and more than $73,000 to an affiliate of WTHR-TV Channel 13, $35,000 to the Indianapolis Colts and $20,000 to Indianapolis Monthly for advertising.

The jeweler had revenue of $5.2 million in 2010, according to the filing.

Gary Hofmeister founded the store in 1973 in downtown Indianapolis. The jewelry store later move to the basement of Glendale Mall and, in 1992, to the current free-standing location at Clearwater Crossing. The company also has a small store in Steamboat Springs.

Gary’s son, Carter, owns 85 percent of the business and manages operations, according to the filing.



  • Banks are the worse
    I have to agree that banks have become their own worst nightmare. They were anxious to loan millions to people who could not afford them, then they decide to tighten and not lend barely any money. I laugh at banks that say they are hear to help you. tif they were here to help, they would help build a restructuring plan so businesses and homeowners can keep what they have. For you nay Sayers, better hope this US dollar doesn't crash, if it does, the banks will be booting you from your homes......
  • ovrrtd
    my watch battery was replaced at a renowned jeweler "up north" for a fraction that hpj quoted...guess i'll stay "up there"
  • Seriously?
    I know for a fact that their suppliers are NOT supporting him...they are not paying them and they've lost several key jewelry lines as a result. Go in and try to buy a Rolex...you can't because they pulled the line for non-payment of watches. Maybe Carter shouldn't give them away under the table to contractors that build support walls around his house on the White River in the middle of the night to avoid taxes and environmental laws and regulations.

    Do you people see??? He has a pattern of breaking the rules because he feels like he's above them...except he's obviously not above having to pay his creditors.

    This is not a complicated thing to understand. When they make a sale - they get paid. No one is dragging them out on terms or not paying as they won't release the product without payment.

    Why aren't they paying their vendors? Because Carter felt it was OK to drag out his suppliers and use "their money" for his personal "stuff" whatever that might be.

    Everyone giving this support is acting so naive and wanting to "help" Carter through this time where the big bad bank wants to know if they'll ever get their money back. This is life people...about time some of you join the rest of the world in the reality of how life works. You ask for a loan, you're expected to pay it back according to the terms...it doesn't really matter to the bank if you're the most giving person in town or a drug addict.
  • good guy
    Carter is a good guy who always does the best for his customers. I am one of the unfortunate creditors who has been selling to Hofmeister Jewelers for many years. The bank did a bad thing for their own greed and did not care that they will get all their money and the small independant jewelry manufacturers money is what is paying them. The bank is taking my money, they never loaned me a dime but are taking my money. They are oversecured and should have worked with Carter to let him work his way out of the short term cash flow. The jewelery business in the past 2 years has been very hard hit, people are not buying as much as the past. now that the economy is turning around and the store is starting to do better they pull the rug right out from under Hofmeister. I encourage all customers to come in and support Hofmeister Personal Jewelers, make your purchases there,, help Carter the way he has helped the community, and help him keep the store where it is and continue to be the great jeweler and charitable contributor that he is. Support Hofmeister and show that bank that Indianopolis cares. The suppliers of Hofmeister Jewelers are supporting Hofmeister and that should tell you something about Carter and the empolyees of the store.
  • Nothing new
    Just another kid running daddy's business into the ground. Happens all the time. Look at Marsh.
    • Bail Outs For Some Not Others
      I wholeheartedly agree with you. It would be hard to feel for PNC, who received a huge government bailout when it was in the same position. Interestingly enough, I don't belive any bank that reeived Tarp funds reciprocated by passing on any type of discount to their customers who were in a similar position.
    • well said
      Well said Longtime HPJ Customer!

      HPJ has always been a great asset to the community and supports many local charities.

      I'll continue to be a loyal customer and would never take my business elsewhere!
    • Where's it going?
      Recent Shopper must have never run his/her own business. I'm guessing it's going to salaries, health care, employee benefits for the many employees of their store...additionally, it might be going to the increased cost of merchandise, bank interest on a 2.5m loan (according to the article), and other ordinary and necessary operating expenses.

      Look around...however unfortunate this situation is, it is very common right now in the "luxury item" market. Do a google search on any "luxury" industry you can think of (cars, boats, jewelery, homes, appliances, etc) and you're going to see many of the major players have resorted to the bankruptcy court for help.

      Our economy still sucks and there are not a lot of us who have a bunch of discretionary income to spend on jewelry...but I sincerely hope this is changing! And I hope Hofmeister emerges as solid local business.

      No, I don't feel sorry for PNC...they were given National City Bank by the federal gov't. National City got bailed out...but none of their business clients were bailed out by PNC or the gov't....

      I do feel sorry for the vendors/suppliers. Especially those that are small business owners themselves.
    • Stating the obvious
      First they lose Rolex because they didn't pay for watches...then they lose A. Jaffe because they didn't pay for rings. Is it any surprise that he might lose his business if he doesn't pay for what he orders?
      • Just say "NO"
        Makes you wonder...if the mmoney isn't going to his creditors to pay for jewelry, who is it going to and what is it buying?
        • Good For Community
          Ageed. Hofmeister is good for this community. They have helped many people and many charities over the years and it's important for all of us to remember to support local businesses. Carter, we love you, support you, and hope you are back on solid footing soon.
        • Why is this even newsworthy?
          Terry...you hit the nail on the head! They are a great local business, and I wish them success. I'm pleased to see that this is only Chap 11 and not liquidation BK!
        • Good People
          Hope they come out of this. Hofmeister's have been great for our community. They helped raaise so much money for all types of charities in this town. Like all types of businesses hurt by the economy and the chain stores. People have forgotten what service and supporting your own local stores who give back to our community means!

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