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West End Shoe Repair reflects on 30 years in Macon

While the shoe repair business has changed, West End has stayed on Montpelier Avenue for decades

MACON, Ga. — This July, West End Shoe Repair owner Mallary McClendon will celebrate over 30 years of cobbling in Macon.

In the decades after buying the business from his mentor, the Macon native watched big changes come to his community as well as the shoe repair business.

McClendon says that the number of cobblers in Macon have dropped from 11 to 2 in the last 30 years.

"I wouldn't say it's gone away. The way shoes are made today, they're basically made to wear and throw away," says McClendon. "For those who invest in quality, it pays to have those things repaired."

Despite all of the changes, you can still find McClendon in his shop listening to music as he repairs and waxes shoes.

He began learning shoe repair from his father and a friend of the family.

"It started out as a hobby and 30 years later, I love it," he says. "It's taking something that looks irreparable and bringing it back to life."

Even though West End saw a decrease in business because of the pandemic, McClendon is starting to see his regular customers return.

"I like to have conversations with my customers," says McClendon. "One of the highlights of my day is talking to a customer for 10 or 15 minutes."

You can find West End Shoe Repair at 2644 Montpelier Avenue. The shop is open Monday through Friday.

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