Even as a grade schooler, Scott Woldruff knew he wanted to have a shoe store. He loved to be in his father’s shoe store in Iowa. He admired his father greatly and, even as a youngster he loved shoes, later working for the same national shoe company as his father.
“That was in my blood. I knew what I wanted to do,” he said.
Scott worked in multiple shoe stores in several cities, eventually landing in Oshkosh, Wis. There, he decided to leave the company and open an independent store. It was a challenging small business environment made even more difficult when a large outlet mall opened in the city. When a friend who had moved to Goshen recommended Scott check out this northern Indiana city, Scott did, soon taking a chance on a place he had never even heard of before.
“I bet I’ve lived in at least 10 Midwestern cities,” Scott said, “but this one is special.”
“I bet I’ve lived in at least 10 Midwestern cities, but this one is special.”
Woldruff’s Footwear & Apparel
129 South Main Street
Goshen, IN 46526
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Special Extended Hours on the First Friday of every month
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
In 1992, Scott opened up Woldruff’s Footwear on the east side of Main Street in downtown Goshen, where Jules Boutique is now.
“When I first moved to Goshen,” Scott said, “I was very excited to be opening a store here. I found people to be very friendly, accepting, and loyal. Goshen was a good choice for our store.”
About 10 years ago, Scott moved the store to the west side of Main Street. Goshen is also where Scott met his wife, Judy, through a mutual friend. Together, they are co-owners of Woldruff’s and, through Judy’s influence, have expanded the apparel in the store, revising the name to “Woldruff’s Footwear and Apparel.”
“People ask if I could have the store anywhere, where I would want it. The answer is here,” Scott said. “This is the location, the atmosphere, the customer that fits us.”
Scott has based his career on offering a truly welcoming and caring store environment, always focusing on quality products and the best customer service.
“There’s a real loyalty in this community,” he said. “We’re seeing folks who we started with 22 years ago and then had little kids.” Now, those kids are grown and bringing in their own children.
“There are a lot of Goshen people who have remained living in Goshen. They love this city. It’s really a family.”
Scott said he is also grateful for the community’s care for the downtown.
“I think we’re just fortunate we hung on to our buildings, refurbishing our facades, a strong interest in the downtown.”
He and the friend who first moved to Goshen helped organize downtown businesses as an economic improvement district, a self-imposed assessment for downtown property owners. This has allowed downtown businesses the funding to do some joint marketing, put up holiday decorations and light post banners throughout the year, some flowerbed upkeep and other improvements that help brighten the downtown.
“It’s been a huge tool for us,” he said.
City government and the Goshen Chamber of Commerce’s interest in redeveloping the downtown and the establishment of First Fridays have also helped boost the downtown.
“It’s a work in progress,” he said, “but I think it’s only going to get better.”
“That was in my blood. I knew what I wanted to do.”
“When I first moved to Goshen I was very excited to be opening a store here. I found people to be very friendly, accepting and loyal.”
“People ask if I could have the store anywhere, where I would want it. The answer is here.”
Do you have a story you want to tell?
Do you have a story to tell about someone who contributes to Goshen’s greater GOOD?
We invite you to share!