Katie's Corner: Familiar faces in Menlo Park
Having lived in this community my whole life, I have gotten to know many of the local business owners. When I was younger and would walk downtown after school with my friends, my mom would often say: "Be careful and if someone looks suspicious, run into Calla and tell Lee or run into Draeger's and tell Lydia, or go to the Sugar Shack and tell Suzie."
Luckily my siblings and I never had to use this advice, but we always felt we had someone to go to in case of an emergency. As a child I have fond memories of playing with the toys at Calla while my mom shopped.
Every grocery shopping trip to Draeger's meant we had to stop at Calla so I could play with the dollhouse. As many of you know, Lee Murphy, who has lived in the community for 20 years, sold Calla about two years ago after owning it for 15 years.
I asked her why she decided to sell. "This past year the opportunity came for Calla to be bought by a customer who loved what I had built and wanted to continue the tradition of having the very best clothing boutique," she says.
She's now free to concentrate on Kicks, a women's shoe and accessory shop at 1060 Evelyn St. in Menlo Park (just around the corner from Calla), and she can spend more time with her family and volunteering for local charities.
She often participates in fundraisers. Her most recent event was a boot and shoe drive at Menlo School for Afghani children and adults. Ms. Murphy gave Kicks discount coupons to those who donated an old pair of boots or shoes for the people of Afghanistan.
Kicks is an offshoot of Calla, where she also sold shoes.
"When the space at 1060 Evelyn St. became available I was thrilled," Ms. Murphy says. "Calla had done so well with shoes and the town didn't have a shoe store, so I thought, if you have a void, fill it."
Calla and Kicks have been voted the best shoe store in local newspaper polls, she noted.
Kicks sells a variety of shoes that appeal to ages from tweens to grandmothers. Ms. Murphy seems to know what lines will be a big hit.
Some of the lines are Jack Rogers, Ariats, Havaianas, Cole Haan, Coach Steve Maddens, and, of course, Uggs!
Also available year-round are Rainbow sandals, a sensation in the teen crowd. Colors range from black to sparkly.
Kicks also carries Hunter boots, considered the Uggs of Europe, where they have been around 1856. Not only are they stylish, they are very comfortable.
"The store is all about comfort shoes and fun new lines like Ariats and Hunter boots," says Ms. Murphy.
If the shoe you want is not available at the store, she will take special orders.
She says she likes supporting local vendors, such as Ariat boots, a favorite of the equestrian crowd in Portola Valley and Woodside, and 49 Square Mile handbags.
Next time you need something, instead of going to the mall, support our local businesses so we can enjoy seeing those familiar and friendly faces for years to come.