The Shoebox is Sarnia’s only independent family shoe store. Valerie Young, who purchased the business in 2007, explains that, “People have come in and said the store is the hidden gem of the city.” Bob Isard opened the store in 1971 at the Eastland Plaza and later sold to Bob and Donna Elie. The Elie’s owned the business until Young purchased it. It has relocated a few times over the past forty-six
years. “The store has a very loyal following. We hear great stories all the time. We’ve had fifth generation shoppers in here,” says Young. “Customer Service is very important and it shows.”
Young previously worked for Trans Canada Credit in the same plaza as The Shoebox and quickly became a regular customer. Young had a powerful desire to be her own boss. Having worked in the retail industry for a number of years, she jumped at the opportunity to purchase the well-established business. She believes strongly in the saying, “If the shoe fits…” Young recently moved the store to its current location at 565 Murphy Road. “It was a larger location and I was able to design and build the space from the ground up,” she explains. The move was completed prior to their 45th Anniversary, which was in June 2016. “We celebrated this milestone for three days! It was a lot of fun,” she adds.