Page 33 - South Mississippi Living - January, 2022
P. 33

  “I love what I do – getting to meet people
from all walks of life, never knowing w”
hat’s coming through the door next.
— J. Kevin Riley
 Face of Dad’s Super Pawn
When you think of pawn stores, you might think of rundown buildings in a bad part of town, but J. Kevin Riley at Dad’s Super Pawn is changing the name of the game. Since its inception in 1989, Dad’s Super Pawn has been set aside in a class of its own, boasting a clean, upscale atmosphere and high-volume sales – some of the highest in the state and the region.
The venture came about on a whim recalls Riley, who has been in the pawn business since 1983. “My family was in the restaurant business,” he said. “My parents Jack and Violet opened up Mr. Jack’s Pizza in Long Beach and later in Gulfport and Ocean Springs, which were very successful. Then one day out of the blue, my dad called me to ask what I thought about the pawn business.”
Riley, who was attending college, had never set foot in a pawn shop before but was intrigued by his father’s idea. He decided to skip school (stay in school, kids) and check out some local pawn shops for himself. “One thing that I immediately liked about the business was the variety of items involved,” Riley said.
One thing that Riley didn’t like, however, was the atmosphere of the stores he went into. “I decided that day that there was no reason why a pawn shop needed to be dirty or feel unsafe,” said Riley. “That’s why we keep our store well lit, tidy and organized. “In fact, we sterilize, clean and
mop each and everyday.”
The upscale approach to pawn has led to massive success, allowing Dad’s
Super Pawn to grow from a small storefront with two guns in stock and just $500 in the till to a 13,500-square-foot building with an inventory of more than 7,000 new and used guns.
“We have become one of the largest gun retailers in the state,” Riley said. “There’s a lot of responsibility in that, which is why we take compliance so seriously.” Aside from gun sales, Dad’s Super Pawn is also the largest independent check cashing site in the state.
Dad’s is also known for its title loans and, of course, pawn. The store takes in anywhere from 30 to 100 items on pawn per day, which can include anything from instruments to jewelry, collectible coins, classic cars, and even a Megalodon jaw, all of which are tagged and properly stored. The whole operation runs impeccably, making the process easy for clients. Not unexpectedly, Riley and his staff are very cautious regarding what they take in on pawn and who they take it from.
“We all live in this community, and I consider it my job to look out for the community that has supported me,” Riley said. “I love what I do – getting to meet people from all walks of life, never knowing what’s coming through the door next.”
 312525thAve.,Gulfport | | 228.864.2602
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living | January 2022 | 33

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