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Business Spotlight: Burger's Shoes, Cloquet

From Carmen LaPlant

Owner, Burger's Shoes

September means so many things to me: the end of summer, the start of fall, and another year of small business ownership.

While September marks two years of my owning Burger's Shoes, this destination store has been a part of Cloquet's many small businesses for a grand total of 65 years. That's a long time!

There's so much history since Ludwig Burger began as a cobbler in a small shop on 10th Street. I still have people come in and share stories about him repairing their shoes. These stories are gifts to me - they remind me of all the hard work and dedication he put into this business.

Eventually, Ludwig moved Burger's to its current location on Carlton Avenue and added footwear as well as repairing shoes and leather goods. Enter his daughter Maria Burger, eager to learn and help customers from the young age of 13. The knowledge she gained from watching her mother, Bernice, work the sales floor would mold Maria into the businesswoman she would become. Maria took over the family business as her father's health wavered. She showed up every day, year after year, doing the hard work, with the same dedication and sense of pride and accomplishment that her father had.

I joined the story of Burger's Shoes nine years ago, with some previous experience. It was September, actually, and here we are today. That same sense of pride resonates within me. I hope everyone finds something that makes you feel the same way I do.

Small businesses are always changing as the economy changes, as technology advances, as the trends evolve. Footwear brands change too. I believe as long as you show up and are passionate and dedicated in whatever you decide to do, it all works out. Change is necessary for survival.

With the change in ownership, many things are still the same. We offer the same high-quality footwear, the welcoming chiming bells as you enter, the smell of leather when you walk in the door, and the desire to help people find what they're looking for.

So, let's welcome the fall season and admire the trees as they change colors. The school year has begun. Fall boots are arriving, summer sandals are making their way to the sale rack and the anniversary sale is coming next week, Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 21-23. Also, those families looking for kids' winter boots are in luck. There will be some high-quality boots for your little ones. We haven't had kids' shoes in previous years, but I plan to provide an adequate selection for little feet.

I want to personally thank each and every individual who walks through the door at Burger's Shoes - this little store is still around thanks to you. Please keep patronizing all your favorite local small businesses: they are vital to our community and surrounding areas.

As always, Thank you for your business. Here's to many more seasons.

Want to know more about your favorite local shoe store?


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