Cobblers in Bury St Edmunds open ‘high quality’ men’s shoe shop

Smart Step in Bury St Edmunds opens its gentlemen's shoe shop upstairs.  Pictured is Jonathan White from Church & Co shoes, Cllr Pat Warby, Cllr Frank Warby, Glenn Catchpole and Jamie Smart.
Smart Step in Bury St Edmunds opens its gentlemen's shoe shop upstairs. Pictured is Jonathan White from Church & Co shoes, Cllr Pat Warby, Cllr Frank Warby, Glenn Catchpole and Jamie Smart.
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They only opened five months ago but Smart Step in Bury St Edmunds is thought to be one of the few cobblers in East Anglia that also sell shoes.

The Abbeygate Street business held a launch night on Friday for its shoe shop, which will specialise in high end, built to last, luxury brands.

Smart Step in Bury St Edmunds opens its gentlemen's shoe shop upstairs.   Pictured is Cllrs Pat and Frank Warby, Jonathan White (from Church and Co shoes), Glenn Catchpole, Jamie Smart and his son Freddie.

Smart Step in Bury St Edmunds opens its gentlemen's shoe shop upstairs. Pictured is Cllrs Pat and Frank Warby, Jonathan White (from Church and Co shoes), Glenn Catchpole, Jamie Smart and his son Freddie.

Church & Co, Barker and Kensington Classics are the three brands that will be sold, with prices ranging from £70 to more than £400.

“We know shoes, we know good shoes, we know badly made shoes.

“These are shoes that you can repair and look after for the rest of their life,” said Glenn Catchpole, who runs the business with Jamie Smart

“With other more down market shoes, it is the upper leather that goes in the end.

“What we are selling are good quality shoes that will last and it is the cobbler selling you the shoes.

“We had a pair of Barkers come in for a repair – they were 30 years old and didn’t look any different to the day they was made.

“Church wanted to come in with us, the same with Barkers. Luckily enough we came to them at the right time – there is a gap in the market for high quality men’s shoes, so this just makes sense to us.”

He said they had turned down another high end shoe company. “The quality wasn’t there,” he said.

Jamie meanwhile said: “There is not really any high end gentlemens shoe shops in Bury.

“These are three top quality brands.

“We hope to end up the destination shoe shop for miles around.”

Jonathan White from Church & Co who was at Friday’s launch said: “It is an affluent area that we had been looking at.

“Jamie and Glenn came to us with a business proposal and brands we felt we could get on board with.

“We are a high end, apsirational, luxury brand and the shop looks stunning. I’m chuffed for them.”

Former mayors Clls Frank and Pat Warby helped open the shop. “It is a good enterprise. we wish them well,” said Mr Warby.