Picture this: it’s 2001, the Witch’s Cauldron is going strong in its 30th year, Brew-Ha has just opened the first coffee roaster and cafe and Subi Centro isn’t even a thing yet.
Seems like a while back, right? Well, that’s also the year Bstore opened up shop on Rokeby road. Opened by local Mike Edmiston, the store was WA’s first venture into the world of Birkenstocks. It was no accident that he chose Subiaco as its location, as it fit right in with the trend of specialty retail stores that flooded Rokeby Road. A distinctly European-style shoe at the time, it was a big leap into the unknown, as Mike wasn’t sure if they would take off in Australia,
“I was excited and nervous, I didn’t know if people were going to be interested enough in Birkenstocks.”
The nerves seemed to pay off though, as he remembers his first ever customer being absolutely stoked that they’d opened up. Pictured below, the customer was a chef who had been searching for clog-like shoes to wear in the kitchen, and was battling to find them anywhere in Perth. Luckily, he stumbled upon Bstore while spending the day wandering Rokeby road and picked up a pair of their iconic Profi style, which ironically remains as their most popular shoe today.
Although this was his first dive into the Birkenstock game, it was not his first for shoes, nor Subiaco. Prior to opening Bstore Subiaco, Mike was a regular stall at the iconic Railway Markets in the 90s, selling a unique (and now discontinued) brand of sandals that he came across when travelling Africa at age 21. Mike sold the sandals for a few years before moving on to start his own shoe project, and with that, Bstore was born.
19 years on, the shopfront has stayed true to its original style, with the original under awning sign remaining today. Ironically, the timeless exterior of the store echoes the style of Birkenstock itself; a shoe that has somehow stayed at the forefront of fashion for decades, which is a pretty remarkable feat.