Welcome to Angelstad's Quick Cobbler, your home for shoe repair and more since 1972! More than just a repair shop, we also offer a wide variety of shoe and boot modification,
If you weigh 150 pounds and walk one mile, you have driven 175 tons of weight through your feet.alteration,
and customization, service for dance shoes, and many shoe-related products found in-store. When your feet start barking for some attention, think of us! Feel free to call or visit us for more information.
For a more complete list of shoe repair services available or for more information, please follow the links at the top of the page. Thank you for visiting!
Jerome P. Angelstad, O.S.T.
I started in the shoe service business back in the summer of 1972. During the 1960's, I was enjoying leather craft as a hobby (thanks to my mother) and, after reading about a hobbyist who had made his own shoes, I wanted to learn about this craft ... to me this was the 'ultimate' leather craft project! To learn more about shoemaking, I visited a retired shoe repairman (John Kolba) in town. It turned out that he had his business for sale so I purchased his machines and stock It was a good opportunity to go into business! During the 1970's, there was a huge demand for shoe repair, but not a lot of young people were going into it. To many, it didn't seem like this was a good business opportunity (hard work and low wages).
My father, who owned a plumbing and heating business on 9th Street, let me use a corner of his shop to help me get started. He mentioned to me that, years before, there was a shoemaker in the same corner. I needed help in repairing shoes so John Kolba came in to instruct me. Dad liked having two different businesses in one building as it brought in more people. I also found out about a really good wholesaler in Saskatoon, Great West Supply & Findings. It was the owner who originally helped me 'discover' St. Crispin. On his sale flyers he always called the shoemaker's hammer - the Crispin Hammer. To me, it seemed like this was a tradition handed down. It wasn't until the mid 1970's when I made my first pair of shoes. An elderly farmer from the St. Brieux area came in with an old pair of wooden lasts he purchased from the last shoemaker who had made him a pair and asked me if I could make him a new pair. He had short, wide feet and couldn't buy factory-made shoes that would fit. I told him I would give it a try. Back then, Dad's front-end hired help told me that he had made shoes in the 'Dirty 30's' from leather 'recycled' from used footwear. For the shoes I made, I used Tandy's New Earth leather. It was a good thing this elderly farmer had his own lasts, because in shoemaking, the last always comes first. When he came in to try on his new shoes, he looked like a 'happy kid' as he danced out the door!
I continued with shoe repair and, in the fall of 1983, I attended my first SSIA Convention. Early in the 1980's young people were entering the trade and some shop owners were opening in shopping malls and other visible locations. Shoe repair was being called the next '1-hour photo centers'! The next year, 1984, I purchased my first new machine. This had really helped improve my business as I wasn't spending nearly as much time changing sandpaper!
For decades, shoe repair shops were known for having arch supports and doing short-limb buildups. During the 1970's, the owner of 'Empire Shoes' (Joe Stroeder) helped me with some of this work. In 1987, I received my O.S.T. (Orthopedic Shoe Technician) designation. Later, I joined the Canadian Orthopedic Footwear Association (C.O.F.A.). This was a group of shoemakers that was headquartered in Saskatoon. Later on, this association amalgamated with the Pedorthic Association of Canada. Pedorthics is a brand new profession which grew from the shoe repair trade.
In 1985, my father retired, so I purchased a small storefront on 6th Avenue. During the mid-90's, due to business growth, I added a 10-foot addition to this building. My father helped me with tendering out this project. In August of 1989 SSIA launched a new public awareness program. They were planning on having four national promotions per year. I was one of the 309 original members of this program. Shoe repair did have an image problem. In July of 1995, SSIA proclaimed "National Shoe Repair Awareness Week (Oct. 9-15) featuring America's Best Kept Shoes! Then, in November of 1995, the SSIA announced another program to put unclaimed footwear onto the feet of the homeless people and disaster victims. It was called "Shoes for the Shoeless". It went national in September of 1996. Four shop owners from Saskatchewan participated in this program and people to this day still bring in their unwanted footwear. The summer of 1999 was the last SSIA Convention I attended. It was held in Las Vegas and the theme was "Survival Strategies '99". The shoe repair trade's only association became an all-volunteer organization and they now opened membership to repairers. Before this, it was a wholesalers & suppliers association. At the beginning of the 21st Century, at least half of all shoe repair shops had closed. In September of 2001, the owner of Great West Supply had retired and closed his business. There are still 3 main shoe repair wholesalers Canada. I took the information I got from attending the conventions and diversified. I already had a good selection of shoe cleaners, polishes, protectors and the 'best selection of laces in town'. I added the Tandy leather craft line to my retail. This has really helped to keep me going. A lot of people commented that this was one thing they always liked about a shoe repair shop ... the 'smell' of leather.
In 2009, I came up with my Mission Statement using 3 words that my Saskatoon wholesaler used: "Quality Priced Fairly''. This is my mission statement: "To provide exceptional shoe service using the best quality products at a fair and competitive price."
Unlike the '1-hour Photo Centre' of the 1980's, there is still a need for shoe repair services. There are new materials and techniques for servicing footwear and there will always be a need for these services as long as people are still wearing footwear.
The most rewarding thing about being in business is just doing good work for your customers. It gives you a great deal of satisfaction when somebody tells you, "I didn't know these old shoes could look this good!"