Wednesday, April 17, 2024

It’s farewell for well-known local cobblers as they close doors

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Howick Heel and Sole bar on Moore Street is closing its doors after 32 years. The lease is up and owner Hans Ankersmit has chosen not to renew.

Original owner Hans bought back the business from his father Gerard in 2010, after initially opening in 1988.

The store’s previous incarnation was as a wool shop but over the years established itself as the go-to place in Howick to get a key cut or your shoes repaired.

Hans says he is “very appreciative of support of local people over the last 32 years” and says he and other employees always “prided ourselves on doing things to the best of our ability” and would miss most the ‘bond formed with clientele”, many of whom were from multiple generations of the same families.

Its the end of an era for Hans and Mike from Howick Heel & Sole bar as they close the door after 32 years. Photo Jim Birchall

Local Howick identity and Howick Heel employee Mike Rowse is also leaving the job he has been in for 28 years.

Rowse, who also manages volunteer-run station East FM, says he will be taking the next week to assess his options, then look towards the future.

Rowse says both he and Hans have been humbled by messages of support on a local business page and the sentiment “brought a tear to the eye for sure”.

The business is one of a number of local casualties post-Covid19.

Tamariki dairy on Cook St closed their doors on May 31 as did Ginger Indian Restaurant in Moore Street,while Howick Office Supplies on Cook Street has closed its shopfront but is still operating online.


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