Standing the Test of Time: Portland, Maine Small Business Celebrates 100 Years
Small businesses have come and gone from Portland over the years. Shops open and then owners either retire and close up shop, or worse, business dries up and they are forced to close. To stay in business continuously for 100 years is quite an accomplishment, especially in a trade that you might be surprised is still around.
In 1923, George Roy Sr opened up "Roy’s Shoe Shop" at 480 Stevens Avenue in Portland and moved just up the street to its current location at 500 Stevens Ave in 1941. According to Roy's Shoe Shop's website, Roy’s was mostly selling shoes rather than repairing them at that point
George Roy Jr worked with his father to learn the business from him and Roy Senior's partner in the business, Stephen Lentz, who purchased the business in 1981 and ran it with his two sons. In the 1950's the business had shifted from shoe sales to shoe repair.
Steve retired in 2010 and the business is currently run by Dan, Ryan and Liz. Dan began working at Roy's in 1981 when it was taken over by Steve and today his son and daughter work with their dad.
The name still hangs over the door, because why change such an iconic business that has been a staple in Portland for all these years? It has been handed down through three different ownerships and is now celebrating 100 years in Portland with a party on Saturday, August 19 from noon to 4:30. There'll be hot dogs, a chance to win prizes and a gathering of both the Lents and Roy families who have kept Roy's Shoe Shop going all this time. Congratulations on 100 years and here's to another 100!