The Whitby Cobbler is now over 23 years established but it has not always been the store that you are familiar with today.
So let’s start at the beginning…
In 2001, The Proper Cobbler was formed by a Mr Ian Brodie, who was an exceptional shoe repairer. Not only did Ian start the business with ambition and a vision, but more importantly incorporated the concept of selling footwear whilst being able to repair and restore onsite in the workshop. The idea was original yet traditional, customers loved it and furthermore this set the important foundations for our store today.
In 2003 I came to work for Ian and for three years he personally trained me in the art of shoe repairing, engraving and key cutting before finally retiring from the trade and selling the company to myself and fellow director, Karen. In 2006 The Whitby Cobbler was formed.
Amongst all of the knowledge and skills that Ian imparted, a few pieces of advice really stuck with me throughout this business venture- never stand still, always look for ways to move forward and stay ahead of the game. That is what we have always endeavoured to do.
British handmade shoes
As great and as successful as the Proper Cobbler was, I always had my own ambition to sell British handmade shoes. Early on in the timeline of the Whitby Cobbler this proved a challenge, but after the big 2010 recession we decided to refer back to Ian’s advice and move forward with the store. Finally we welcomed our first handmade British brand through the door- Trickers. Now we are the proud stockists of over 18 brands and are currently stocking over 350 different styles of footwear for both ladies and gentlemen. We now stock a range of brands such as Barker, Loakes, Dr Martens and many, many more.
A real turning point
This was a real turning point for our company and we have never looked back. In 2014 our original website was formed which allowed us to take the Whitby Cobbler name beyond North Yorkshire. In 2017 we were the runner up in the Toast of the Coast business awards and in 2018 we were the proud winners of the same accolade.
2020 was not just the year of Covid19 but it was also the year that The Whitby Cobbler hit the small screen! Thanks to our relationship with eBay, a film crew joined us in the store and after a full day of my best/terrible acting we had TV adverts, Social media campaigns, national newspaper articles and even billboards doing the rounds nationally. This was a truly exciting experience and provided fantastic exposure for the company. The feedback was great and we saw a positive impact in-store too.
We currently have a team of five members of staff. Karen is a director of the company and has over 30 years experience in Engraving, Key cutting, Stitchwork. and occasional saddlery work. Michelle is our longest serving staff member who excels in customer relations. Michelle is always happy to help. She also works with our online footwear orders and inventory.
Pete is our second shoe repairer. Pete worked as a Shoe repairer in Bradford before I even started in the trade. He has a vast knowledge and a great enthusiasm for his job. Robyn is the newest member of our team. Robyn started at The Whitby Cobbler last year and is already an integral part of our team. She has a natural ability in retail and we’re really glad to have her onboard.
Sally is our Sunday staff member. If you come and see us on a Sunday it will be Sally’s smile that greets you at the door. We have only recently started opening on Sundays and it wouldn’t be possible without Sally.
Watch the video below
We really appreciate your custom
We are all incredibly proud of what we have created here on Baxtergate; a traditional, original, quirky store selling quality handmade British footwear.
As well as selling shoes, we are ultimately a family run, independent company and we are always here to help.
We really appreciate your support and custom.
Thanks for reading,
The Whitby Cobbler
Whitby, North Yorkshire.