It’s a fairly rare occasion these days when a business gets to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. However, Dean's Drive Thru Pawn Shop, located at 2617 S. Robinson Avenue in Capitol Hill, Oklahoma City, OK, will be doing just that on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. Dean’s is the OLDEST pawn shop in Oklahoma City, the only DRIVE-THRU in Oklahoma, has offered mailing and shipping services for the United States POSTAL SERVICE for over 14 years, and carries one of the most extensive selection of NATIVE AMERICAN goods in the state.
The pre-celebration has kicked off with open registration to win four storewide gift certificates for $100 each to be given away November 5, 12, 19, 26. A $250 storewide gift certificate will be given away December 3rd. Join Dean’s Drive Thru Pawn Shop for a special Open House December 5th which is the actual day of their 50th Anniversary. Stop by from 4 – 6 p.m. and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and more. A Grand Re-Opening Ribbon Cutting will be officiated by the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce at 5 p.m.
“Dean’s Drive Thru Pawn owner, Brett Fisher, is an involved member, loves his community, and is one of the most giving individuals I’ve ever met,” said Elaine Lyons, South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce President. “Whether it’s giving of his time, knowledge or from his wallet, Brett sees a need he acts,” said Lyons. “Fifty years in business is an incredible achievement and we could not be more proud to celebrate with this second generation South Oklahoma City business,” added Lyons.
I am excited to have Sarah Miller, owner of La Confection, feature her new Capitol Hill business at the December 5th celebration,” said Brett. “We want everyone to stop by and enjoy our giveaways and Sarah’s mini: breads, cupcakes, cheesecakes, eclairs, macaroons and more,” said Fisher. Brett encourages everyone to be watching for Dean’s to join forces with other local businesses and non-profits as the December 5th celebration kicks off an entire year of surprises!
“My team/staff is very important to me and I value their work ethic, as well as their friendship,” said Brett. “I could not have come this far without their help and support,” said Brett. He added the following about each of them:
Mark McWilliams started 1992 and is the longest standing employee and offers commitment, knowledge, trustworthiness, and internet skills. I hired Mark two years before I signed the contract to by the business from my Dad because I knew I needed him to be my right hand just like I was for my Dad. It has proven to be one of the best decisions I have made and I could not have done this without him.
“I began to recognize a growing language barrier with our customers so I added Jose Herrera as our first bilingual team member in 1995. Jose grew up in the Capitol Hill area. He was and still is one of the finest and soft spoken employees I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. He is a great asset and his rapport with our customers is outstanding.
The youngest team members are Jose Perez and fiancé Vanessa Ramirez. “They bring such a breath of fresh air to my business. Jose has been with me for five years and Vanessa for one year. Jose is one of the most well rounded individuals I have ever met. He is a graphic artist, IT genius in my eyes, and can fix just about anything. His self- taught skills amaze me.
Vanessa has brought to our team youth, fresh ideas, great customer service skills, and an eye for interior design that continues to make our store look better than it ever has.
“Who knew that my parent’s trip to see family in Kansas would bring us to where we are today,” said Brett. His Dad, Dean E., and Mom, Linda Fisher, were visiting Linda’s Dad, Claude Owen, who owned and operated a pawn shop in Liberal. That’s where Dean saw his first pawn shop, borrowed $5,000 from his father-in-law, and opened Dean’s Pawn Shop on S. Harvey Avenue. Dean was able to pay back the loan in one year.
Dean quickly recognized that the pawn shop industry did not have a good reputation and were usually located in less desirable neighborhoods. So, he and several other pawn shop owners set out to change that image by lobbying and getting the Pawn Shop Act in 1972 and later founded the Oklahoma Pawn Brokers Assoication . “Their efforts paid off as pawnshops became so popular in Oklahoma City that Dad installed a drive-thru window for the convenience of his customers,” said Brett.
After 25 years in the business, Dean retired in 1994 at the age of 52. He offered his 30-year-old son, Brett, the opportunity to buy the business and property with a 10% investment over the next 20 years and Brett accepted. Just two short years later, Dean lost his battle to cancer in February, 1996. Brett’s goal was to pay off the note by his 50th Birthday and being the go-getter that he is, he did.
Dean had always, and Brett continues, to play an active role in the Oklahoma Pawnbrokers Association. Dean was a founder, served on the board, and as President. Brett earned the Oklahoma Pawnbroker of the Year award in 1997, was elected as 2000 – 2001 President, served as treasurer for eight years, and has served on the board. He is a member of the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, and Historic Capitol Hill Bid District.
In true form and fashion, as this interview came to a close; Brett wanted to thank everyone for their business, his wife, Durinda, family, and the entire Dean’s Drive Thru Pawn Shop team.