BISMARCK, N.D. - Gartner's Capital Shoe Hospital has been a staple of Bismarck for 98 years.
Owner Mark Gartner says his shoe business reflects the soul of the town. With the help of his family, his shop has evolved with the people around it.
Mark Gartner has dedicated his life to his work.
"It's always nice to get a new challenge through the years. You know, somebody brings something in and you're like. 'wow. I'm not sure I can do that, but let me think about it,'" he says.
Passion is in the Gartner blood.
"So, the shop itself in Bismarck started in '22 when my grandfather started it," Mark says.
In in 1951, the businesses changed hands.
"My dad and my uncle worked the shop for quite a few years. Dad was 88 when I finally had to get him out of the shop and tell him it's time. It's time to relax," he says.
In 1991 Mark took over.
From apprentice to teacher, Mark hopes his legacy will continue with his son Jacob.
"When my son started and said he wanted to do it-- it just breathes new life into things," Mark says.
While Jacob is walking in his father's footsteps, he says it would be impossible to fill his dad's shoes.
"You have to make your own shoes. And so, it's my choice to take this business to the next level with dad and do it on my own as well," Jacob says.
For the Gartner family, success has come with their adaptability.
"I've been doing it for 46 years and I'm still learning. You see something new. You just apply what you know and see if you can't make it work in today's world," Mark says.
Mark says he's proud of the footprint he's left in Bismarck and hopes his shoe shop will continue in the hands of his son.
Jacob says he knows taking on his father's shop is a big commitment. However, he says when the time comes for Mark to pass on the torch, he'll be ready to walk into that role.