After more than two decades of service, Dudek Shoes at Willowbrook Shopping Centre officially closed Jan. 31.

Couple hanging up shoes after long tenure at Willowbrook mall

Dudek Shoes closed its doors in Langley Jan. 31

After 26 years running their shoe store at Willowbrook Shopping Centre, Ted and Maxine Dudek have put up their feet and eased into retirement.

They’ve been in the shoe business for decades, initially opening a store in the Park Royal neighbourhood of West Vancouver in 1980 before shifting their business aspirations to Langley with the expansion of Willowbrook Shopping Centre in 1990.

The good news for Ted, 76, and Maxine, 72: they no longer have to commute from their North Delta home to Langley.

But Maxine said considering their commute used to be to West Vancouver each day, travelling to Langley wasn’t so bad.

Dudek Shoes was located near customer service, next door to Eccotique Spa & Salons.

“I think the shoe business has been good to us over the years,” Maxine said. “We’ve had ups and downs and bumps in the road but yes, basically it’s been good.”

Maxine said while technology and styles have changed over the years, they’ve stuck to their basic business philosophy.

“Just try to provide good customer service,” she said.

The couple had contemplated retirement for the past couple of years.

“I think it (business) was slowing down a bit with different shopping habits and online shopping,” Maxine said.

Even so, it was bittersweet for Ted and Maxine to close their store. “We’ve been part of the community for such a long time and we had some longtime customers, and even after we closed our Park Royal store, we’d have customers from Park Royal come out to Langley,” Maxine said.