WESTMOUNT – After 83 years in business on Greene avenue in Westmount, on the island of Montreal, the store Shoes Tony will close its doors for good in a few months. In the meantime, several loyal customers spend to take advantage of the closing balances.
According to Anthony “Tony” Fargnoli, the current owner of the trade open since 1937, this retreat is not due to the COVID-19, but his health and his family.
“I have grandchildren, so I missed a lot of things in their life while I worked, he launched last Friday. I work sometimes 7 days a week, I did more than 30 years!”
Though his son has tried to resume the trade for a few years, he has finally opted for a different career.
“My son is loved by the customers and this is a good person, but he does not have the same passion,” suggested the old man of some sixty years.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fargnoli said he grateful to have been able to serve its customers who have become friends and will get bored of this contact.
Sorrow among the customers
Announced in June, the closure of Shoes Tony has disappointed many customers, some of whom are faithful to him for decades. This is the case of Nathalie Geoffrion, who bought his first shoes at 13 years old.
“I frequent the store for 40 years, she explained. Formerly, there were boxes of shoes stacked all the way around the wall. It was the cave of Ali Baba shoes!”
Elaine Lalonde, who has known Mr. Fargnoli while he was volunteering at the Queen Elizabeth health Complex, did not hide his sadness Friday.
“When people have knew that Tony was closing, it was “oh my God!” It is the end of an era. Now, everyone buys online,” she lamented.
For many, the quality of the service and the ambiance very family cannot be found anywhere else. Ms. Lalonde does not hesitate to designate the trade as “an institution in Westmount”.
“I think it is family run and very local, has explained the adviser in philanthropy. People know that they are going to have a good service. And many of the children came to buy shoes for school.”
Shoes Tony has several clients illustrious, as the Molson family and the family of former canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney. His wife, Mila Mulroney, was passing, on Friday, to take advantage of the closing balances with his grandchildren.
“They were very kind, pointed out Mrs. Mulroney. As a young family, we could always return the shoes. They kept the sizes of the children, so the children could come alone. “
A family history
Arrived from the area of Cassino in Italy, Giantonio Fargnoli has decided to open up his workshop for the manufacture and repair of shoes in 1937 on the avenue Greene.
“At the time, there was a lot of Tony, who were in the shoe store in Montreal. Then, he said that he would call it “Real” Shoes of Tony,” said Tony, laughing.
His son Eddie’s – father-Anthony – has added a sale section, and took over in the 1950s. After being with a certification of CCM, the shop has sold hockey equipment and has even repaired the skates of the players of the Montreal canadiens.
“When I was young, I saw old players Canadians like Rogatien Vachon, Dick Duff, Jean-Guy Talbot. We have repaired a lot of things,” recalled Mr. Fargnoli.
This last began to assist his father as young as 10 years, before his successor, in 1986, as president. He claims to have learned a lot from his honesty and his passion.
“I have given a sense of credibility to our family in our community. This is the thing that counts the most for me,” he argued.