Artie Bush, fourth generation owner of Bush-Flora Shoes, is celebrating the business’ 105th anniversary Saturday with giveaways.
Bush’s great grandfather, Eugene Bush, opened the shoe store in downtown Roanoke in 1907.
The store moved locations a few times before landing at 109 Campbell Avenue. That store closed in 1992, leaving just the Towers Shopping Center store open. (The store is still located there).
Bush began working at the store in 1993 and took over from his father, Arthur Bush Jr., who died in 2008.
Artie Bush is planning to celebrate the store’s anniversary Saturday with giveaways (tote bags, shoes and other items), Bubblecake cupcakes and other refreshments.
He said that in time of online shoe shopping and large department stores, his family’s store has been successful because it carries hard-to-find sizes and widths, and because he and his staff work with customers to make sure they get the right fit.
There’s also a certain amount of loyalty and nostalgia that keeps customers coming back.
“I have some customers who say they remember coming in here as a kid,” Bush said. “We’ve been here and carry what they need.”