Ahwatukee Shoe Repair Forced To Move To Make Way For Big Box Walgreens
Flora tells their story!
Another story of corporate America pushing the little guy around. It is so common that we have come to expect it. These situations seldom get our attention. I want to tell this story because these are real people, really nice people, whose lives have been disrupted and I want to help them in every way possible.
Express Shoe Repair owners Flora and Mario Velastegui, moved their family business from Tempe to Ahwatukee on November 10th, 1990. They became an integral part of the Ahwatukee community. Mario’s shoe and leather goods repairs became known far and wide for the quality and care he gave each and every item. As the business grew, Mario’s craftsmanship became known far beyond the boundaries of Ahwatukee and the surrounding communities. Clients were delighted and he kept up a steady pace. All was well. They had achieved the American dream. They expected to retire in a few years and enjoy the fruits of their labors.
A Great Team! Mario and Flora In The Shoe Repair
Their dream was shattered in mid 2010 when they received notice from the landlord that the old strip mall housing their small shop was going to be demolished to make way for a new big box Walgreens. They were shocked. They debated closing and retiring; but, at the urging of their longtime customers, they set out to find a new location in Ahwatukee. They researched and found that moving a small business is very similar to starting a new business. Their search further revealed that small businesses that move can lose up to fifty percent of their former customers. Despite these statistics and their fears, Mario and Flora forged ahead and found a new location. Express Shoe Repair was relocated to 12020 S. Elliot-Warner Loop, #121, (480)598-0152, in the Equestrian Center. (For those of you not familiar with the area, they are located at the very top of the Elliot-Warner loop at Equestrian Trail.) Flora now greets their customers at the counter while Mario does his magic in his clattering workshop. They are a great team working together to keep their dream alive.
Flora expressed to me how fearful they are that their long time clients won’t be able to find them. Her fears are real. Flora is a beautiful lady and her story will touch your heart. I did a short video of Flora. Please take a look and listen. It is heartwarming.
More importantly, if you are a former customer or a new customer, take your leather repairs to them. You may want to call and let them know you are aware they have moved and that you will be bringing future repairs. They can be reached at (480)598-0152.