Ariel Almogabar founded Village Shoe Shop at 251 1/2 Rice Blvd., in Rice Village, in 1947.

The shoe shop still thrives on the same block, even as neighboring stores—including a Rice food market and a bagel shop on the corner—are no longer in business.

Village Shoe Shop has offered shoe and boot repair, orthotics and prosthetics services, luggage and custom shoes for decades.

What remains unclear is if the store still sits at its original location.

“It’s been so long that we’re not really sure,” said Edie Almogabar, owner and daughter-in-law of Ariel, who died in 1999.

Edie took over ownership in 2002 after the sudden death of her husband, Ronald Almogabar, who maintained an owner-partnership with his father.

Edie was familiar with the business when she took over; she was already delving into the shop’s paperwork and was helping in other ways when her husband died. With the death of her husband, Edie’s choice was instantaneous.

“It was because [Ronald] loved it so much, and it was in the family, so I decided to carry it on,” she said.

From where the volume of the business comes has been a big change over the years, she said.

Much of the business centers around orthopedic work. It receives referrals from over 25 area physicians, according to Edie, a registered nurse and certified pedorthist—a health professional with training to modify footwear and employ supportive devices, such as orthotics, to treat conditions of the legs and feet.

This focus allows Village Shoe Shop to craft custom shoes for clients in addition to other services it offers.

“We’re professional shoe fitters,” Edie said. “Feet are your foundation.”

Meeting with clients, taking a gait analysis, and creating a custom-made mold are part of a traditional shoe-making process that has merged with modern advances in orthotic technology, the owner said.

The shop’s central business tenet also remains consistent.

“The heart of this is the relationship we have with our customers and their families,” Edie said.

Village Shoe Shop

2507 Rice Blvd., Houston


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., closed Sun.