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Ohio's oldest operating retail store has a new owner in Tiffin

Kuebler Shoes, opened in 1832, has served the Tiffin community for 190 years.

TIFFIN, Ohio — Opened in 1832, it's the oldest continually operating retail store in Ohio, and it's right here in the 419.

Founded in 1832 by German immigrant cobbler Joseph Kuebler, Kuebler Shoes has been a staple in Tiffin for 190 years.

Joseph Orbringer purchased the business from the family's fifth-generation owner in 1985, and moved the shoe shop from downtown to this Market Street location in 1999.

Known for offering high-quality shoe brands, handbags, accessories, and direct customer service, this historic shoe store now has a new owner.

"I was born and raised in Tiffin, and I just always wanted to make sure that this business continued. And that's why, getting close to retirement here I wanted to try to find someone so that it would continue." Orbringer said.

Credit: Jon Monk
Kuebler Shoes has been in this Market Street location since 1999.

New owner Kymberlee Wood was connected to Orbringer through the Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse, which brings together business owners with potential investors.

Wood says she understands the importance of running a business that has operated in three centuries and promises that regular customers can expect the same service they've come to rely on under Orbringer's ownership.

"Kind of putting my spin on things, you know, maybe changing the look a little bit, remodeling. But outside of that, we really don't want to make any dramatic changes. It's been here for 190 years, so there's no reason to break the mold at this point." Wood said.

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"We've been here 190 years at this point. So, Kymberlee will be able to celebrate the bicentennial of this business, which is pretty exciting," Orbringer said.

Along with that change of ownership, there is one more coming for the historic shoe shop. 

Wood said she's planning to move Kuebler Shoes back into downtown Tiffin in the next few months.

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