After years of service to New Canaan residents, Bärbel and Bob Green are saying goodbye to their beloved jewelry store sometime in the middle of January.

"This is it," Green said. "We've been thinking about this for the better part of a year now and we think it's finally time."

The store has been around for more than 25 years when it opened its doors in 1986 at 17 South Ave. It was not until 1996 that the Greens relocated to Elm Street to take advantage of the downtown area.

Since its inception, the store has been most famous for ear piercings. In fact, Green said his wife Bärbel has probably pierced more than 8,000 ears since 1986.

"We had a more accurate count of how many customers we helped when he kept track of it on paper believe it or not," Green said. "But that is what we have been known for. Once word got out a long time ago that we were doing that, people from all over the region were coming in. We had whole classes of girls and sports teams from New Canaan, Greenwich, Norwalk, Wilton, Darien, Pound Ridge and all the nearby towns."

Retirement comes with a very bittersweet feeling for Bob Green. The thing he'll miss most are the relationships with all his customers, especially in New Canaan.

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"Emotionally, it's really tough for us and the people of New Canaan," Green said. "There are so many residents who have known us for that period of time and we've had great relationships with them. It is really hard to face a customer you've had for a long time and tell them you're closing for good soon. But I think a lot of them understand."

The flipside is that Green and his wife can finally kick back and enjoy time with their family.

"It's just time to go and enjoy life for a while. We just want to relax and it that is basically it to tell you the truth," Green said. "We have family all over the world so it will be very nice to have a chance to spend time with them for more than just once a year."

Green said the store will remain open until all the inventory is sold with mid-January set as a hard closing date. For more information, call Bärbel Jewelry at 203-966-0446.