"Allow yourself to be inspired.
Allow yourself to succeed.
Dare to excel."
Vincent Dente, Serengeti West Founder
These words are the defining force behind the success of Serengeti West Fine Jewelers. Their significance is remembered and their meaning lives on eleven years after the unexpected passing of Serengeti West founder Vincent Dente at age 39. Vincent's care and compassion for his fellow man were exemplified by his charitable acts of hospitality and generosity. His legacy inspires the Serengeti West and Dente families to treasure their time with each other and their customers everyday.
In 1978, Gene Dente founded Serengeti Company with his brothers Vincent and Steven. The international wholesale gem business was based in San Diego, California. While Vincent traveled the Western United States to sell gems to jewelers, manufacturers, stone dealers and designers, Steven made trips abroad to purchase the gems. The company specialized primarily in African stones - tsavorite garnet, tanzanite and fancy sapphires. In 1979, Vincent attended the Gemological Institute of American (GIA) to acquire the scientific foundation in the materials for which he was already an expert. The brothers financed mining projects and developed long term relationships with miners and worldwide producers from countries such as Thailand, Europe, Columbia and Madagascar. In 1984, Serengeti Company became involved in blue topaz production that yielded over 35 million carats, which they sold to manufacturers in the United States, China, Germany, Brazil, Korea and Thailand.
Kathleen and Vincent moved to San Luis Obispo in 1985 where they married and began their own gem business called Rock Soup Trading Company, which was later changed to Serengeti West. Vincent's personality, dedication and hard work ethic, combined with Kathleen's financial knowledge built the business. It grew in size and employees, moved to larger locations and settled into their current location in charming downtown San Luis Obispo in 1993. The name of the store was taken from the East African plains, which is home to the gemstone mines Vincent and his brothers visited almost three decades ago. After Vincent's passing in 1996, Kathleen assumed operation of the store. She was very fortunate to retain the services of such a fine and accomplished jewelry designer as Serengeti West's Craig A. Boisvert.
For 30 years, Serengeti West has earned its customers' business with family-friendly, caring service, impeccable ethics, knowledgeable experts, exquisite jewelry, and affordable prices. From humble beginnings, Serengeti West has grown to be the exclusive representative in San Luis Obispo of some of the world's most distinguished jewelry designers and manufacturers. Brand names such as Diana, Kimberley, Camelot Bridal, Whitehouse Brothers and more shine in their store displays on the corner of Monterey and Morro Streets.
With an emphasis on custom design, exclusive designers, exceptionally rare gemstones and Ideal Cut Diamonds, Serengeti West continues to evolve and grow, but what still resonates after twenty years are Vincent's words. At Serengeti West, we strive to inspire, excel and exceed our customer's expectations of service, give knowledgeable advice on style and bring unforgettable moments of beauty and joy into their lives.