How many times, when in love with a pair of shoes do we wander how they could be fixed. When you enter in La Galoche, located on 67th Avenue and Oak in the Marpole area of Vancouver BC you can smell leather and shoes repairs products. But more than that, you enter in Fred’s world: a little piece of France which would have moved in Canada. Every detail reminds Britany, this region on the far West located along the Atlantic coast. La Galoche’s owner developed his store pushing both a very highly mastered craftsmanship along with a strong taste for interior design. If you pay attention, even the radio is French.
La Galoche is specialized in repairing designer shoes and handbags but also traditional shoe repair. Fred learned his trade in France in 1987 and since has worked in more than 35 locations in France, Alberta, British Columbia and owned 2 shoe repair shops. But this is just the beginning of the story.
When you start talking with the man or when you can grab him not working on shoes or stitching a bag, you discover that his craftsmanship has been developed around various experiences obviously dealing with leather, specific products and tools, but also with exposure to a rich life outside of the shoe repair business. No wander he knows a few things about interior design and bring his taste in the store... Fred is an accomplished cinematographer, he was nominated in 2013 for best cinematography for the feature film Soufflé au Chocolat at the 2013 Leo Award in Vancouver. “That was in a previous life!” laugh the man. Yes very true, but when an artist, who loves shoes and apply his skills to restore, revitalize them decides to operate a cobbler store, magic happens and that’s exactly what’s going on in the corner of the 67th avenue and Oak Street.
Fred is now a days a very busy man, designers shoes accumulate in the backroom of the store, machines are working full blasts, deadlines are tight, but every shoe which leaves the store enjoys a new life, miracles happen and you can see the look of their owners filled with incredibility and admiration.
La Galoche, Designer shoes and bags repair – Cobbler since 1987 - http://la-galoche.ca
Editor-in-chief and founder of the Frenchman Mag.