City Beat – New Westminster Record of Wednesday Feb 11, 2015

Profile of Michael Isman

Since he was a teenage, Michael Isman has worked in the pawn shop his father started on Columbia Street 60 years ago this month.

Howard Isman opened Royal City Jewellers and Loans during the heyday of the golden Mile, the nickname given to the busy commercial strip that attracted suburban shoppers. At 14, Michael would trek into the “office” with his dad from their Vancouver home for his summer job at the family shop.

Despite more economic ups and downs in downtown New West than the water levels on the Fraser River, the shop has endured since the middle of the last century – offering mostly loans (for every 100 loans they make, about 94 get paid back, Michael says) to those in need of quick cash without a credit check.

Over the years, Royal City Jewellers has also done its part in giving back to the community by holding an annual silent auction fundraiser with ties that are autographed by celecbrities. The fundraiser has brought in approximately $250,000 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Michael estimates. – Interview by Niki Hope


Watch an interview with our President, Michael Isman

Part 2