Best Of 2000

Best Shoe Store: Dreamland Shoe Co.

When Shirley Hollander's father opened Dreamland Shoe Co. on Jan. 26, 1949, there were a dozen other footwear retailers in Maplewood. The store is the last survivor of its kind in the once-bustling business district. Shirley and her husband, Larry Hollander, have operated the store since 1966. They say they owe their longevity to the loyalty of their customers, who now include a whole new generation. Dreamland offers everything from baby shoes to motorcycle boots. Over the last 50 years, the store has sold countless pairs of loafers, wingtips and brogues. Almost all of the footwear the store stocks is American-made. The styles come and go, but the demand for shoe leather has remained steady. In the canvas and rubber-sole department, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers have also been a longstanding favorite among Dreamland customers. Experience a shoe store the way it ought to be: Sit down and let Larry size you up, because barefoot dreamers don't get too far in this world.

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