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Business & Real Estate

On second thought : European Cobblery reverses course, stays in downtown Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/
Steven Oberhauser, background, looks on as his father-in-law, Paul Roth, repairs a pair of women’s shoes at the European Cobblery at 201 First St.Town Crier

A longtime Los Altos family business thought to be on its way out of the downtown area recently received a new lease on life. Actually, it just received a new lease – literally.

The European Cobblery owner Paul Roth told the Town Crier last week that his family’s business at 201 First St. is staying put after negotiating a new lease with property owner Passerelle Investment Co. The turn of events comes after the Roth family announced in November that it planned to end its 28-year stay in downtown Los Altos by closing the store at the end of January.

Roth, who noted that the new lease agreement came together in the “past couple of weeks,” plans to manage the store along with his wife, Desiree. His daughter and son-in-law, Stephanee and Steven Oberhauser, are in the midst of transitioning to help manage the family’s Palo Alto store at 410 California Ave. after previously overseeing daily operations at the Los Altos location.

The couple is partnering with another of Roth’s daughters, Jessica, and her husband to manage the Palo Alto store.

“We didn’t want to leave, but we take life as ‘you get what you’re going to get,’” said Roth, who added that his family was particularly moved by the outpouring of support it received from longtime customers after disclosing plans to shutter the store late last year. “I think the community really hated the idea of losing us because what we do is kind of irreplaceable.”

Roth said the change of plans actually results in an expansion of the family business. He and his wife opened a new downtown Campbell location in early December to serve as a second family business location once the Los Altos store closed for good. By keeping his doors open in Los Altos, he added, the family now has three cobblery locations to call its own.

“I’ve had five stores to juggle before, so we’ll be able to handle it,” Roth said assuredly.

Reinforcements to run the expanded family business have already arrived, Roth said. He noted that his youngest daughter, Jennifer, and her husband are beginning to get involved with the family business and plan to help run the new Campbell location. In addition, Roth’s son, Brandon, will lend a hand from time to time.

With any luck, Roth said, the family’s Los Altos store will stick around for a long time to come.

“We just really want to thank everyone who helped us stay and for all the kind thoughts and support,” he said with a grin. “Hopefully, we’ll keep this thing going for another 28 years.”

For more information, visit europeancobblery.com.

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