Joseph’s in downtown Richmond is a business founded in tradition. As the Greater Richmond area grows and changes, owners Michael and Katherine Joseph said they have made efforts to grow and change with the city.
“Joseph’s was a furniture and gift store [in 1961],” Katherine said. “Shops like Joseph’s started becoming obsolete, and we decided to make changes.”
Changes enacted in 2012 include launching a vintage hunting shop, a cigar bar and a coffee shop in a building owned by the Joseph family for more than a century.
According to Michael, the business was founded in 1903 by his great-grandmother, Mary Joseph, a widowed Lebanese immigrant and mother of five. It has changed over the past century to become the business it is today.
Michael said his father, Richard, asked him to continue the tradition of the Joseph family operating a business in downtown Richmond. Michael’s lifelong love of cigars, vintage guns and traditional English hunting inspired him to create the three-pronged business in his grandfather’s old establishment.
The couple launched a specialized sporting store behind the cigar bar that carries items synonymous with a traditional English hunt. Although the store stocks vintage guns, some of which are over 200 years old, it carries other items, including clothing, cuff links, hand-painted home goods, flasks and vintage gun-cleaning kits.
Katherine said they carry hunting attire that can be worn in other settings.
“I buy things that are wearable,” Katherine said
Coffee has a long history in the family, so a coffee shop was included in the business.
“[Michael’s] great-grandmother—when she started out here—sold coffee beans,” Katherine said. “His grandfather sold cigars in the mercantile, and Michael enjoys cigars, so we did the cigar store.”
Timeline of business
1900: Mary Joseph immigrates into Galveston.
1903: Mary sells coffee by horse and cart in Richmond.
1919: Mary’s son Emil Joseph opens a mercantile store on Morton Street.
1926: A fire damages the roof of the mercantile store.
1928: The roof is rebuilt and the mercantile store incorporates the name Joseph’s into the façade of the building.
1961: Richard Joseph adds a new building next to his father’s mercantile store and opens Joseph’s Furniture and Gifts.
2011: Michael Joseph takes over the business.
2012: Joseph’s Furniture and Gifts closes.
2012: Joseph’s Vintage Sports and Cigar Shop opens.
2013: Joseph’s coffee bar opens in January.
202 Morton St., Richmond
Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m.,closed Sundays