Enter the sophisticated offices of New York Loan Company and you would never believe you’re in a pawn shop. Located in the International Gem Tower, New York Loan Company is a world apart from the typical storefront pawn shop. Priceless art lines the walls of the private offices where all transactions are conducted. Valuable jewelry is displayed and friendly staff stand by to assist clients, whether they are purchasing, selling or making a loan. Interestingly enough, the story of how New York Loan Company became the most premiere pawn shop started some 3,000 miles away….
In the 1930’s, most of Los Angeles’ pawn shops were dimly lit storefronts where transactions were conducted over the counter. Founder Louis Zimmelman knew there was a market for a different kind of pawn shop. Louis envisioned a place with the feel of an upscale jewelry store, where the pawnbroker always dresses professionally, where business is conducted in private offices, and where the client’s valuables are securely stored in a bank vault.
Founder Louis Zimmelman knew there was a market for a different kind of pawn shop.
And he was just the man to make the idea a reality. A sharp dresser, a true gentleman, and a jeweler whose family had been in the diamond industry for four generations, Louis selected none other than Beverly Hills for the site of his new pawn shop. Tucked away in a bank building, the original Beverly Loan Company was a place where Hollywood’s elite – who were temporarily down on their luck – could quietly pawn their jewelry for quick cash without going downtown and risk being noticed.
When Louis and his brother Julius opened Beverly Loan Company in 1938 times were rough. The Depression was easing, but war clouds were hanging over Europe. People everywhere were uneasy. Soon, Europe was at war and America followed suit in 1941, with Julius being drafted. Louis now ran the fledgling business during the day (with the help of his mother and a sister), and spent his nights working the graveyard shift at Lockheed Aircraft to support the war effort.
in 1987, Louis’ daughter Jeannie Zimmelman joined the business.
After the War was over, both brothers put their heart and soul into building the pawn business. Soon, Beverly Loan was a well established company with a long list of famous clients. Louis always knew that in a town as image-conscious as Los Angeles, discretion is of utmost importance. And this is why Beverly Loan Company has made confidentiality the cornerstone of its business. This decision has served Beverly Loan Company and the Zimmelman family well. In nearly 80 years no name of any client has ever been revealed without the client’s consent.
By the mid-50’s Louis had become one of the most influential men in the pawn loan and diamond industry. He was now in a position to address his longtime dream to help make the pawn business a respected and esteemed industry. He was one of the original founders of the California Pawnbrokers Association (CAPA), a private, non-profit association committed to improving the pawnbrokage industry in California.
After the death of his brother in 1987, Louis’ daughter Jeannie Zimmelman joined the business. She expanded Beverly Loan Company by hiring additional employees and computerizing the company’s pawn records. They were later joined by Jeannie’s sister Helaine. Louis passed away in 1995 and together the sisters owned and operated the business with the same standards their father taught them so well – respect your clients, give them value, and always maintain their privacy. After Helaine retired in 2001, Jeannie became the embodiment of the upscale pawn shop; she was featured in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, People, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and the list goes on…
In 2007 Jordan, a licensed attorney and former employee of Beverly Loan Company, rejoined the business as its CEO, just as Jeannie had hoped.
Jeannie tragically passed away in 2005 leaving behind a husband, Brad, and two children, Lauren and Jordan. The family makes it their duty to run the business with the same loyalty, enthusiasm, and pride as Jeannie did – a lesson she learned from her father many years before.
In 2007 Jordan, a licensed attorney and former employee of Beverly Loan Company, rejoined the business as its CEO, just as Jeannie had hoped. Like his mother, Jordan has also represented the trade in the media, and like his grandfather Jordan is an active member of CAPA and sits on the Board of Directors of the National Pawnbrokers Association.
Jordan always had aspirations of expanding the family business to the East Coast, but was holding out for the perfect location. After considerable research, Beverly Loan Company purchased space in the International Gem Tower in Manhattan, NY and opened New York Loan Company, which operates under the same standards as its West Coast counterpart.
New York Loan Company remains a family business and the world’s finest pawn shop.