Downtown Millburn was a much differnt place 60 years ago. Many businesses have come and gone during that time.
But Futter's Shoes is one business that has been there for all of those years. Last Wednesday the downtown mainstay celebrated its 60th anniversary, and on Friday many gathered at the Millburn Avenue location to celebrate.
"Intestinal fortitude" is what has kept the family business open in downtown Millburn, said Richard Futter on Friday. "We may look big, but we still operate like a small business," he said. By doing so, it means customers are helped more quickly and in a more efficient, satisfying manner.
Futter speculated his store, which his father opened in 1949, has served five generations of Millburn-Short Hills residents, something he described as "gratifying."
Futter, who grew up in Millburn-Short Hills, said his family has always been involved in the township's community affairs. "You can't just take out," he said. "You need to put back in."
Ralph Tarnofsky, Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of Commerce president, said it's a credit to the Futters in being able to survive and compete in today's retail world with competition from the Internet. It's old-fashioned connecting with customers that has kept the business successful.
Harold Klein, Downtown Millburn Development Alliance executive director, said 60 years for a business is remarkable. "When people think shoes (in Millburn-Short Hills), they think Futter's," he said.