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When a good friend who used to head up international public relations for Armani and Versace and another friend with fine taste told me about Menina Step and its ballerina flats I took notice. Not only did they say they were handsome and a quality product, but also, a steal. Little did I realize what a steal.

Menina Step has a small, unassuming space in a strip mall in South Miami, 9822 SW 77th Avenue (T.305-495-1069). It’s small because they primarily sell wholesale there, and do most of their retail online (where prices are higher). Though small, it’s large enough to have a good variety of its specialty, leather ballerina flats made in Spain. Choose from suede, imprinted leather (snakeskin look alike), patent, numerous colors, pointed or rounded toe, and with or without a small heel.

There are also suede slip ons a la Stubbs & Wooten look alikes, big sellers. Sizes are 35 to 42 (European). And, drum roll please — the price is $64 a pair. Also offered are  classic pumps in several neutral colors with more to come in the New Year ($74), booties,  and espadrilles ($34). While they last, there’s a lovely assortment of ballet flats in size 26 (samples) for girls.

And when you go there, around the corner is Cao Chocolates, single origin Venezuelan chocolates, so you can treat yourself with the money you save. If you’re there at breakfast time, don’t miss the croissant with a chocolate center that they grill and serve warm.  You’ll be hooked.

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