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 Alan Gandy

Supporting the little guy!

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I’ve always had a thing about trying to support small businesses as opposed to large chains wherever possible. Some time ago I took my favourite boots, the ones that took me across the Canary Islands, into a small local shoe repair shop for new soles only to be told it wasn’t possible for them to repair them because of the way the boots were made. Following a bit of research I found out that Berghaus boots need to be re-soled by a particular authorised workshop in the UK.

My boots were despatched to the UK, and returned some time later. My pockets were £80 lighter but they came back looking almost like new for half the cost of a replacement pair of the same type. Result, so far. Since getting them back they’ve only had a few days of light use and the stitching on one of the seams vanished. For £80 I expected better.

Back to my favourite little cobblers shop. Dropped in to see if he could sort them. “No problem, pick them up tomorrow.” Job done perfectly, and all for the princely sum of €2.

I love this little place. His workshop is a downstairs room in a house and looks like something from a different age.

It’s not just the satisfaction I get from keeping the little guy in business that motivates me, I like the quirkiness of these little places, the personal service, the quality of the work a true craftsman can deliver and that visiting little places like this makes what is normally a chore more of an experience.

You can find this little gem of a shop at number 5, Calle Antonio Martínez (not far from Plaza Mejor) in Albox, Almeria. Don’t blink though, you’ll miss it!

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