In November of 1976, Ralph Baker, my dad, leased a small, rat-infested building on South Main Street in Salisbury. He worked day and night cleaning and refurbishing "the worst location in town" into a very nice but small shoe store. I was only 8 years old at the time but I do remember how proud we all were at how nice and new this previously run-down building looked. My biggest concern at the time was that we were leaving the Walkers of Walkers Rowan Shoes where my dad had worked my whole life. The Walkers were like grandparents to me and while I hate to admit it, facts are facts, and I was a little concerned about the lack of Christmas presents from the Walkers that year. Of course, what I had no concept of at that time was the extreme risk my dad took in opening his own store. He didn't come from money, he was a high school graduate with 4 years of service in the Air Force. He worked as a sales associate in a family shoe store and my mom worked in an orthodontist's office. They built a nice home for our family which was modest by today's standards but to me it was the nicest house anywhere. Dad borrowed all the money he could against the house to buy inventory to stock his new store, literally risking everything he and my mom had. With one employee he opened the doors...in a town that already had 6 shoe stores in as many blocks downtown.
Today we are focused with providing ONLY comfort footwear. Every shoe we sell must have some comfort feature before we'll buy it. Now, comfort doesn't just mean shoes that look like your grandmother's oxfords...we still sell those as well, but today, we have the best looking shoes available that also have comfort features.