A simple greeting goes a long way when purchasing items in downtown Boonville. This friendly and personal approach to business is what often separates a small town family business from a larger chain.

A simple greeting goes a long way when purchasing items in downtown Boonville. This friendly and personal approach to business is what often separates a small town family business from a larger chain.
This personal approach has been Ed Scrivner’s philosophy for the last 50 years, especially when helping someone find just the right footwear for every member of the family.
Family Shoe has been a staple in downtown Boonville since opening its doors more than half a century ago.
When many people flock to big box stores or a shoe store in a mall, Scrivner stays true to his original business plan  providing genuine service with a personal touch. This ethic is something that is sometimes lacking in the world today, but in Boonville it is still alive and well.
Scrivner’s love for shoes began at a young age not far from Boonville.
“When I was 13 years old, I began working for a shoe store in Eldon. I worked there until I graduated high school,” Scrivner said.
While attending college in Springfield, he also worked for a shoe company before moving to St. Louis to work for the Brown Shoe Company. For two years, Scrivner sold wholesale shoes to markets in Central Missouri.
Knowing that he was not a ‘big city boy,’ Scrivner decided to move back to a less populated area. After selling shoes for Brown Shoe Company in the Boonville area, he noticed that this community needed a shoe store.
Family Shoe Store opened up at 325 Main Street in February of 1965.
“We were there for five to six years before we moved to the Boonville Shoe Store Building,” Scrivner said.
Not long after that move, Scrivner purchased Glover the Clothier Building where the store is currently.
“We have been here since 1972,” Scrivner said.
Since then, Family Shoe has only had to move one time because of a fire in 2002. Scrivner said the shoe store was temperarily located at the current location of La Vita Italiano Restaurant during renovations of the current store.
In the last 50 years Scrivner has seen several trends come and go. Keeping up with trends is vital for business as it keeps the store looking fresh.
“Trends go in cycles. You have times when high heels and narrow toes are in trend and then the style transitions to lower heels and rounder toes. Boots have become hot fashion items and so have athletic styles,” Scrivner said.
Scrivner added that every 15 years something that was once old is new again.
“People now are more casual and athletic,” Scrivner said regarding to current shoe styles. “People are more interested in comfort shoes now.”
American-made shoes are also a big selling factor now according to Scrivner.
While trends have changed a lot over the last 50 years, so has how people shop. Scrivner remembers how lively the 1960s and 70s were in Boonville. He added that business changed in the mid 70s when malls became the place to shop.
Even during these major changes, Family Shoe has persevered.
This perseverance could also be contributed to the employees through the years.
“We have been more like a family over the years. Employees tended to stay 11 plus years,” Scrivner said. “We have even had people that have stayed with us for 14 to 22 years.”
Family Shoe has also been a business that has kept high school students employed — giving them work experience before embarking on college.
Scrivner will continue to do business like he has done for the last 50 years — offering that personal touch.
“We will continue to find the products and services that people need,” Scrivner said.
Scrivner was thankful to customers of Family Shoe over the years, especially during the fire in 2002.
“It has been a process of change,” he said.