A Muslim-owned Galveston restaurant has received an outpouring of support since reporting that had been vandalized with bacon.
Walking into Mainland Pawn Shop, it could easily be mistaken for a jewelry store. With one wall and display cases filled with jewelry, this time of year, Valentines decorations surround the items both new and old. Colorful and organized, the decorations change with the holidays.The opposite wall is covered with shotguns and pistols also organized, well lit and tidy.“We take great pride in the look of the shop,” said Betty Holcomb, co-owner with her husband Mike. “People come in just to pick Mike's brain about the guns, he is a real aficionado. An avid hunter, he gives great advice about guns. "Mac, our son, is also very knowledgeable about the guns and has studied jewelry repair."”Located at 106 Highway 3, in La Marque, the shop, known for its eclectic merchandise, now open every day but Sunday, has been an establishment in the area for over four decades. Three generations of customers return to buy from the couple who are known for their warmth, professionalism and honesty.In addition to jewelry and guns, the shop carries an assortment of power tools, musical and yard equipment, and miscellaneous items including watch batteries and pins. They also do jewelry repair and custom design pieces which can be made to match existing jewelry. They also give loans, regulated by the state government. All transactions are done quickly and with the utmost of privacy. "Holding pawned items for at least 90 days, they will do everything they can to work with customers to come up with options to help customers and secure their property.”Governed by the same regulations as any licensed gun dealer, every gun sale requires an FBI background check. Like every pawn shop in the state, Mainland Pawn is governed by the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, the same office that sets the rules for and governs banks, and the pawn shop's secured loans. As required by law, the shop provides law enforcement with a copy of every transaction it makes.Known for its specials on jewelry, for Valentines Day, the jewelry is up to 50 percent off with everything at least 25 percent off. They will be happy to gift wrap.Mike started working in his family's business when he was 10 and their daughter and son started helping out at the pawn shop at about the same age. The wife, Betty, does the books and keeps the store decorated along with the help of employee Betty Carter, a friend and former owner of Old Galveston Seafood that was located next door.Even the employees have become like family, something felt by the customers.“We love our employees,” said the wife. “There are six of us here, two Bettys, one Taylor and three Michaels, known as Mike, Mikey and our son who goes by Mac. We are like a family. In the past we have had our moms, dads, nieces, nephews and grandnephews working with us. It IS a family business.“People still come in year after year because they like doing business with us, and we do gift wrapping for occasions such as Valentine's Day,” she said.Generation after generation continue to shop at the local establishment.“We see grandchildren of our original customers coming back time and again,” she said.