For 5 Questions this week, the Herald speaks to Danny Spiros, long-time owner of the Service Shoe Shop, located in the Grand Cities Mall.
Q: Where did you learn to do all the work?
A: I was born and raised in a shoe shop in Minot, and I moved down here and bought this place in 1978. I was 20 years before that over in Miller's Town and Country shopping center across the street from where I am now. I grew up in my dad's shoe shop in Minot. I started shining shoes in the shop when I was 10 years old, and then when I wasn't shining shoes they were teaching me shoe repair.
Q: What services do you offer?
A: Right now, we fix everything. We do shoe repair, we fix luggage, we put zippers in coats and jackets and anything else with a zipper in it. We do orthopedic repair, and we sell belts and wallets. We fix saddles, tack, hockey equipment and all the other sports equipment. I can sit here for an hour and list all the things we do.
Q: What's something you've worked on that has been pretty unique?
A: I just redid fur on a cavalry saddle from over, probably, 100 years ago. I just spent all winter working on that, reconditioning it you know? You don't see an actual cavalry saddle very often.
Q: How have things changed for you because of the coronavirus pandemic?
A: We've cut our hours to four hours, and my business is down 90%. I'm lucky if I’m fixing one pair of shoes a day now. A lot of my customers are the older generation, and, if they're all in quarantine, I've got hardly any business. I'm just trying hold on. But we're here and we're open, so if anybody needs any shoes repaired, now's the time to do it. You can get them back in a day or two.
Q: Have you tried to get a Small Business Administration loan?
A: I tried to get a loan but the money was all gone. I heard last night that they passed more money (for the program), so my banker has me on a list. I'm not asking for a lot, but the little bit that I would get would guarantee me six or eight months to a year.