LIMA — Bob Johns defies the national statistics that say the average life span of a family-owned business is 24 years.
Johns is the owner of Bob Johns Shoes, Pedorthics and Repairs — “the home of happy feet,” as he likes to say. It’s a family-owned business that opened 45 years ago as the Village Bootery. He’s 81 years old now and hopes to still be running the business well into his 90s.
Don’t doubt that he can do it.
Johns recently took a motorcycle trip with a friend, riding 1,300 miles in three days on his 2003 Honda Goldwing just to buy a hamburger at the Moonshine General Store in Illinois. He also swims 500 yards three days a week and has a basement full of exercise equipment.
“If you exercise and eat right, it’s amazing what you can do,” Johns said.
He’s a fourth-generation Lima businessman who has kept his shop open by changing with the times. It began in 1976 as a fashion shoe store. Johns later became a licensed pedorthist and now the store caters to people who have special foot needs due to things such as arthritis and diabetes.
“To this day, I enjoy coming to work every day,” said Johns, who has been married to his wife, Fran, for 59 years.