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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Emerhoff's Footwear ready to celebrate 80 years of business

The Ames store reflected on being a staple of the community over the years.

AMES, Iowa — Eight decades of business is certainly something to be proud of. And Emerhoff's Footwear in Ames is getting the celebration started a little early. 

In December of 2021, Emerhoff's will have been in business for 80 years, providing shoes and services to people all over central Iowa. The store has been a staple on main street all those years, and a tradition for the family that runs it. 

"It makes me feel old. But, it's been great. The grandfathers ahead of us laid a great foundation and I'm very proud to have my son now, he's fourth generation. So, it's a great feeling," owner Mark Peterson said. 

The store was named after founder Emerhoff Peterson, who started the business in 1941. He's the grandfather of owner Mark Peterson, who is now running the store with his son, Mike. 

Four generations of shoe fitters, the Petersons pride themselves on that family history and a tradition of offering quality footwear.

"I love working with my dad, you know, we have a great relationship. So it's not your typical, you know, owner-manager situation. It's a special thing," Mike Peterson said. 

They said the secret to long-term success is service. They take time with every customer to get the right fit. It's a strategy that's helped them defy the odds and keep going strong into their 80th year.

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