Vandy’s Elm Street Shoes closes
Wed, 03/29/2017 - 1:00pm admin
By Sara Stromseth-Troy TPD Staff
CRESCO - A staple in downtown Cresco for decades, Vandy’s Elm Street Shoes: Shoe and Zipper Repair is closed and will auction its inventory April 1.
Current owner Mark Schultz is retiring.
“The business has slowed down, and I’m retiring,’ Schultz said. “I’m thankful for the customer patronage over the years.”
Schultz admitted he is looking forward to spending time with his children, who live in Colorado.
“I spent half of my life in Colorado; I had a restaurant there for a long time,” Schultz said. “If I do anything (after retirement), it will be something to do with drag racing.”
Schultz has a history with racing: In the 1970s, he built engines for well-known NASCAR drivers such as Dale Earnhardt and Dale Jarrett.
“I had a record at the Brainerd International Raceway for a long time that has now been broken, and they want me to come back and set another one,” Schultz said.
Meanwhile, Bob Van De Weerd remembers his parents’ long tenure with Vandy’s Elm Street Shoes, including his own time working at the store:
“My folks had the store, so I started working there in the 1960s,” he noted. “My dad started the store in May of 1947 when he got out of the service. I went to school for a year or two and worked construction and came back in the late 1970s.”
Van De Weerd recalls, “We were there for 60-some years. We knew our customers, some by face and some by name. We had a lot of people come from all over; there was more retail back then.”
The family sold the business to Schultz in 2010:
“We settled the real estate in February 2010, and then Mark bought it,” Van De Weerd explained.
The history of Vandy’s Elm Street Shoes is published in the Cresco Times Plain Dealer’s Sesquicentennial Edition:
‘Ever wonder where the Vandy’s name came from? Earl O. Miller sold his shoe shop to Marion Van De Weerd of Riceville in 1947.
'Vandy’s Shoe Shop was moved from the basement of the Reed building (211 N. Elm) to the former B&H Shoe store building early in 1958, following the transferal of the B&H business.’