Como shoe shop set to grow in size

Piff, a sneaker and street wear shop in Como, will open another location across the street from its current spot in November.

Piff, a clothing store on Como Avenue Southeast near the University of Minnesota, is relocating to a larger space across the street from its original location. The under-construction site is seen on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Ellen Schmidt

Piff, a clothing store on Como Avenue Southeast near the University of Minnesota, is relocating to a larger space across the street from its original location. The under-construction site is seen on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

A high-end sneaker and street wear shop in Southeast Como is set to add a new location. 

Piff will open a second location across the street from its current business in November. The shop, located on 1506 Como Ave SE, opened three years ago and has since outgrown its location.

The expansion will let Piff host more events and offer extra space for shoes and apparel, said Bill Crubaugh, Piff store operator and co-owner.

“We also wanted to just have a real cool place to go for our customers, and a unique shopping experience,” Crubaugh said.

The shop sells new and vintage collectible footwear brands, like Air Jordan, Nike, Adidas, Supreme, among others.

Prices range from $30 up to $2,000, Crubaugh said. The shop buys, sells and trades sneakers, apparel and other accessories. 

“We also have a selection of retail brands and they’re unique brands that you can’t find elsewhere in Minnesota or even in the Midwest,” he said. 

Cody Olson, executive director of the Southeast Como Improvement Association, said residents initially questioned the legitimacy of Piff because of its uncommon business model.  

“They… proved that it was really valuable because they’ve done really well,” Olson said. “They are taking over a space that was kind of a problem for the neighborhood.”

Olson said a second Piff location will bring another “good establishment to the neighborhood.” 

Crubaugh said the purpose of the expansion is to offer a hub for culture that promotes a lifestyle their consumers can enjoy.

“I think it’s definitely going to turn into a destination spot of collectors, fashionistas and street wear fans [from] all over the world,” he said.

Crubaugh and other owners opted to keep the business in Como rather than expand to a new area because of the “great vibe” the neighborhood offers.

“It’s close to the University of Minnesota, so it’s also accessible to the students,” Crubaugh said.

Piff customer Matthew Mikell  said the store is tailor-made for name-brand shoe collectors.

“It’s basically exactly what any sneaker-head or Supreme-head would want,” Mikell said.

The Twin Cities lacks many designer shoe stores, making Piff a desirable location, he said.  

“Whenever I go to the cities, that’s the place I go to because… the store [has] such an interesting community… and everyone just can easily get along and talk about stuff together,” Mikell said. 

Like Mikell, Minneapolis resident Andy Pelerine and his friends share a common interests in shoes.

“It’s kind of like a cultural hub for street wear and clothing,” Pelerine said. 

The new expansion, he said, will benefit Piff and its customers.

“It’s good they’re expanding because they could definitely use a bigger store,” Pelerine said.