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In Pictures: Oh yeahhh! Russell Oliver through the decades

Toronto's Cash Man wants to expand his business through Ontario and beyond

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Russell Oliver in his Superman-like persona in a promotion shot from 1998. Mr. Oliver, the gregarious, loud-mouthed owner of Oliver Jewellery, has been buying people’s gold in Toronto for 43 years. Now he wants to expand beyond the city.

Christopher McLeod/The Globe and Mail

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A promotional shot from the 1990s. Mr. Oliver’s commercials, which feature him yelling at viewers urging them to sell him their gold and ends with the catchy “I’m the Cash Man” jingle, have made him a household name in Toronto among regular folks and gold sellers alike.

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A Globe and Mail file photo from 2005. For more than four decades, Mr. Oliver has operated out of one midtown Toronto location, but he would now like to open stores across the GTA and possibly in other provinces. However, he thinks he needs a “mini-me” – someone as passionate and extroverted as he is to be the face of the new stores.

Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail

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With hockey great Bobby Orr in 2011. In his quest to expand, Mr. Oliver has found one person to run a new Oakville location, which he opened in November – his son Jonas “The Cash Kid” Oliver. He does have two other sons, but they aren’t interested in running new stores, he says. Mr. Oliver is ready to open a new location in Peterborough, and he just needs to find someone to operate it.

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Mr. Oliver was shot in the foot by robbers in April of 1984 – above is a newspaper clipping provided by the family. More, from The Globe and Mail files: A Toronto jewelry store owner who was shot in the right foot when he tried to stop two robbers won't do it again. "I wouldn't leave them alone, so they shot me. I know it was the wrong thing to do. I'm usually a level-headed person," Russell Oliver, 36, said last night from his bed in Mount Sinai Hospital. Mr. Oliver was shot when two men wearing black motorcycle helmets with dark visors held up Oliver Jewellers on Cumberland Avenue about 11:30 a.m. Saturday. They escaped on a red motorcycle. Mr. Oliver said he couldn't believe that "these young kids would have the nerve to walk in at our busiest time on a Saturday morning and try to kill me for jewels they couldn't get any more than $2,000 for."

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In his effort to find another person to operate his new stores, Mr. Oliver has spoken to headhunters, posted on Craigslist, searched on Workopolis and put ads in trade magazines. But, in the end, no one has been a good fit. “They’re missing something,” he says.

Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail

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Mr. Oliver, right, in a family snapshot from 1989, with his family. The gold buyer says that if he can’t find someone like him to man the new locations, then his expansion plans may have to be put on hold.

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