By Libby Hopkins
Shoe repair has become a long lost art. With so many bargain shoe store chains in the area, it’s easy to just go and replace a pair of shoes when they become warn or old. Daniel Chung of Brandon has kept the art of shoe repair alive in Brandon for more than 30 years.
“Our store has a long history in the Brandon area,” Chung said. “Originally it was called Yi-Ole-Cobbler and located in the old Brandon Mall, currently the site of Publix supermarket and Burlington Coat Factory on Brandon Boulevard.
Daniel and his wife, Younghee, moved to the United States in 1986 from South Korea with their children for the same reason most immigrants move to this country, for a better life. “They pretty much left everything behind to start anew in Florida; not an easy feat as they didn’t speak English when they arrived,” said Daniel’s daughter, Sarah Chung. “They’ve since built a beautiful life in the Brandon community and their children are graduates of Bloomingdale High School who have gone on to graduate from college and with Master’s degrees.”
“My father had held various jobs in Korea, but coming to the states, he had no transferable skills without the English language ability,” Sarah said. “After working at a small shoe repair business in Sarasota for a couple of years, my parents had the opportunity to buy a shoe repair business in Brandon.” For her father, it was an opportunity to own his own business as well as continue with the creative work he so enjoyed in Korea as an artist and painter. Daniel continues to use his creativity by making and repairing shoes for places like Ringling Circus and Disney’s dancers.
“There are several shoe repairs you can choose from in Tampa and Brandon but my parents’ shop hands down is always the best quality repair you can get,” Sarah said. “It’s why they have loyal customers that have been bringing their leather goods to them for over 30 years.”
They fix anything from shoes and boots to bags, belts, and luggage. Chung can also fix all name-brand shoes and his store is an authorized Vibram dealer. “We’re proud of our long history and love the Brandon community and our customers,” Daniel said. “Our family and the shop have been a fixture for many years and hopefully, many more to come.”
To learn more about services offered, contact 684-0272 or visit www.brandonshoerepair.com. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.–2 p.m. It located at 128 Edwards Ave. in Brandon.