Posted: 12.02.20 at 09:21 by The Editor
A popular Oakham shoe shop has closed after 20 years in business...but its sought-after footwear is not disappearing from the town.
Chiropodist and podiatrist Richard Harris and his wife Julie initially opened Neat Feet in Mill Street in 2000, combining Richard’s practice with selling footwear for clients who needed comfortable shoes, including deeper or wider ones, as well as stock specially-selected for corrective insoles.
Both businesses boomed, so much so that in 2003 Richard sold the practice to restore a better work/life balance and spend more quality time with his young family.
At the same time the shoe sales business moved to bigger premises in Mill Street, selling a wider range of footwear.
Richard opened a new clinic, InStep, in Oakham's John Street in 2014 which as gone from strength to strength and now operates as a two-chair clinic with experienced podiatrist Linda Capewell working every Thursday.
With the lease on the Mill Street shop coming to an end later this year, the couple decided to consolidate the businesses again...and are embarking on a new venture at the same time.
Richard told Oakham Nub News: "The shoe shop had been doing well but, like all high streets across the country, Oakham is not the way it once was.
"As I have the John Street practice premises we decided to share the space - just as we did when we started 20 years ago - and the shop closed on Saturday (8 Feb).
"The new range will feature more specialist footwear to dovetail with the podiatry business.
"On Monday (13 Feb) we also opened a totally new venture in Melton Mowbray's Sherrard Street - Instep Podiatry and Footwear.
"The new practice is run by a colleague and friend Steven Foster, who also covers home visits for me in Rutland and clinical cover when needed, plus an additional part-time podiatrist.
"It also incorporates a larger retail element selling a wider variety of footwear and will have a specialised biomechanics room and sports massage studio which I will use in my capacity as a fully-qualified sports massage therapist.
"The new venture means not only have we been able to maintain the services of our excellent staff of many years service, Jill and Sue, but also take on another employee.
"Jill will move to Instep in Oakham to job share with my wife Julie, whilst Sue will now work in Melton joined by new staff member Sally. Julie will also work part-time in Melton.
"It's an exciting time and the team is very much looking forward to continuing to serve the Oakham community as well as customers and clients from further afield."