Frozen In Time: ‘Shoe Care Plus,’ Shoe Repair Shop [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD — This week in our Frozen In Time series we feature a local St. Cloud business that has repaired over a quarter of a million shoes in its more than 60 year lifetime.
Shoe Care Plus was originally owned by a man named Romie Rau. It first opened in the 1950s as Romie’s Shoe Shop.
The store was located a few blocks away from the Paramount Theatre. Rau eventually sold the business to a man named Denny Cariveau in 1976. Cariveau worked as a shoe repairman for Rau as a teenager and was optimistic about taking over as owner. Cariveau changed the name to Denny’s Shoe Shop and employed Rau for a number of years.
Cariveau’s son Todd grew up working in the business and decided to buy the company and change the name to Shoe Care Plus.
Todd says shoe repair is a dying trade because schools don’t teach it anymore, “there used to be trade schools that used to teach this for many years up until about the mid 90s. Those don’t exist anymore. How you get into this business is usually through family or being an apprentice for somebody because it’s a very dynamic job. ”
Shoe Care Plus uses all of the original equipment bought back in the 1950s. Some of the machines were built in the early 1900s.
Todd uses a sewing machine that’s operated manually to repair stitching along shoes and other leather products. A foot pedal controls the speed and direction of the needlework. Todd says often times his repair work is better than the original stitching.
Todd says shoe repair is a green business because they use recycled material to salvage damaged shoes.
It can be cheaper to repair your shoes than it is to buy new ones. Todd says people bring in items everyday they don’t think can be repaired and he fixes for a small portion of the cost it would be to replace it.
Today, Shoe care Plus is located at 35 Wilson Avenue North East in St. Cloud.