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Roderer Shoes has proved a loyal retailer of Dayton, Ohio. Our commitment to serving the Miami Valley region began over 100 years ago with a man named George Roderer...
was born in the foothills of the Alps in the small village of Fichtelberg, Germany in 1872. He learned the skill of shoemaking as an apprentice to the village shoemaker, but in 1892 his widowed mother immigrated with her four children to the US. They landed in Dayton, Ohio, where a group of friends and neighbors from Fichtelberg had already established themselves.
George initially worked as a toolmaker at the National Cash Register Company; but continued to use his shoemaking skills, repairing the shoes of his fellow factory workers. In 1906 he pursued his passion for shoes further when he began purchasing and reselling footwear from his Xenia Avenue home, thus Roderer Shoes was established.
In the same year as the great Dayton flood, George Sr. began construction of a new home and store, just two blocks west of the original location. He sold his previous home to his older brother John B. Sr., who, encouraged by the stream of people arriving at his front door seeking new shoes, opened the first J.B. Roderer Shoes. The community lovingly referred to the two shoe brothers as "Big Roderer" and "Little Roderer".
Both brothers had plenty of help to successfully run their stores. George Roderer and his wife, Rosina, raised nine children, five sons and four daughters. All five sons followed in their father's footsteps; although one later left retailing to become a Chiropodist, the profession we know today as Podiatry. John's family was the same size!
George's first expansion was to West 3rd Street where he occupied a storefront in the same building as the Wright Bros. Bicycle Shop! His two eldest sons, A.J. and George Jr. ran the store until 1927 when George Jr. opened a third location on North Main Street. A fourth store was also opened on East 3rd Street for the third brother, Bernard, but closed when he left to become a Chiropodist. The two youngest brothers, Victor and Lawrence, continued to work in the Xenia Avenue store with their father until his death in 1931.
George Jr. built and opened a new store at 2001 North Main Street, a location fondly remembered by customers to this day. It was one of the first shoe stores in Ohio to specialize in children's footwear. His success allowed him to purchase stores in Xenia, OH (Richard Shoes), Sidney, OH (Swank Shoes), Hamilton, OH (Leifheit Shoes), and Cincinnati, OH (Swartz Shoes); but he continued to operate these locations under their original names.
George Jr.'s only son Thomas became the owner and operator of Roderer Shoes shortly after graduating from the University of Dayton in 1963. Over the years the other store locations closed but Thomas' commitment and passion for his family's legacy allowed his father's North Main Street store to flourish. In 1982, he added adult comfort shoes to our collection of children's footwear and four years later built our current location at 5500 North Main Street. He would continue to successfully and proudly run the store for 51 years, retiring only after death in June of 2017.
Thomas Roderer's eldest son Michael joined the family business in 1989 and became joint owners with his wife, Denise, after his father's death. The pair manage the store with the help of their excellent staff, including Thomas' cousin Dan Roderer, who has over 40 years experience, and their daughter, Rebecca.
Since owning the store Michael has added new brands and styles to our inventory while maintaining his father, grandfather, and great grandfather's traditions alive.
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