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Shoe store recovers from past break-ins, returning to Kansas City from Independence

KJ Farmer - Shoe Verdict Owner
Posted at 10:17 PM, May 24, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local man wants to bring his business back to Kansas City, Missouri, as a way to give back to where he grew up.

KSHB 41 previously reported on the break-ins KJ Farmer experienced at his former store, One Pair, on Troost Avenue and East 55th Street.

It was part of the reason Farmer left the area in the first place.

"Independence has been great, but I want to make a change in the community I was raised in, so I'm looking to come back home," he said.

Farmer said the break-ins made it unsustainable to keep operating on 55th and Troost.

"I never wanted to leave 55th and Troost, but the circumstances made us leave," he said. "They were going up on rent, we kept dealing with break-ins, and it's like at a certain point and time, I have to keep the business afloat and keep the business running."

He got his footing back in Independence with Shoe Verdict, and now that he's heading back to KCMO, he's taking the security lessons he's learned with him.

"Using all of the things that I failed to do then and I know now; to get the pulldown gate, for instance," he said. "We wanted to get a pulldown gate over there, but it's just so expensive.

"$20,000 just for the gate. But that's the proper precautions you got to take ... I continue to do these things even when I get setbacks because I love what I do."

Step by step, he's making his way home.

"We're signing a lease for 3-5 years, so we're looking to call this home," he said. "We're not looking to just get here and move somewhere else, we've been looking for a space to call home. And I think this might be home."