In the last years of the 19th century, my great-great Uncle Jake emigrated from Europe to the United States. His family was one of leather workers, and saddle and harnass makers and cobblers. By 1903 Jake had established Royal Shoe Shop in Kansas City, Missouri.
Making and repairing shoes, he soon gained a reputation for undying insistence of quality. In 1915 he was approached by members of the community who said that if he would open a children’s shoe store, they would support it with their many families. Country Club Shoe Store, Kansas City’s first children’s shoe store, was born.
In 1950, my father, Leon Goodhart, having just arrived from Europe, asked to join the business. He saw the need for high-quality, adult orthopedic shoes and our store became the first to carry the new generation of lighter, more flexible orthopedic shoes in the 1960’s. By the early 70’s Leon became Kansas City’s first Certified Pedorthist.
In 1980, my father invited me to join the business. In addition to my formal apprenticeship with my father I also became a pedorthist and we ran the facility together until 1990.
But I had heard of the new ideas and technology coming out of Europe. Germany had become the leader in the world in the science of foot care. I packed my bags and headed for Europe to study. It was there that I met my wife, Laurence. After living in France for 3 years, we returned to Kansas City and Laurence joined the business in 1996.
Rejuvenated with new ideas, skills and the custom-modifiable footwear that came out of the field of Euro-Pedorthics, we created a facility where every shoe is custom-modified to every foot, the first and only foot care facility of it's kind in the United States.
After 110 years in Kansas City, we moved our facility to Taos, New Mexico and opened our store, a facility like no other. We have set new national standards for the resolution and management of all serious foot conditions. We couldn’t have done it without the help of the generations before us. Many clients from Kansas City come visit us in Taos. It is fun for us when we serve a customer who remembers being fitted with shoes, as a child, by my great-great Uncle Jake, four generations ago. We talk about my uncle, my father, and quality.