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Robert's Shoe Shine Services moving to Garvey Center

01/08/2014 2:56 PM

01/08/2014 3:25 PM

WICHITA — Except for airports, it's rare to see many shoe shine men these days.

"There are so many people who don't even know where to get a shine at today," says Robert Cook, who has Robert's Shoe Shine Services. "It's a dying art."

Cook is transitioning his business from a couple of Joe's Seat Cover & Carwash stores to the kiva lobby at the Garvey Center. He won't be there on a full-time basis for another couple of weeks.

Former Garvey Center shoe shine man Richard Henry died almost a year ago. Cook says another couple of shoe shine men in the area have died as well.

"It seemed like it created a void, so I'm here to fill that."

Cook worked in a number of other jobs before deciding to enter the shoe shine business eight years ago after he was laid off from Safelite AutoGlass.

"Getting laid off just didn't fit me too well," Cook says. "I decided I didn't want to get mixed up in that anymore. ... I just thought it would be better to be independent."

He says the Garvey Center makes sense for a number of reasons.

"I just think that that area is growing."

Also, he says, "The spirit over there just seems to be appropriate."

Cook says he'll be located near Sheer Voltage Salon.

"We're going to kind of have each other's back," Cook says of the women who own and work at the salon.

Cook hopes females will be a key part of his business.


About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com


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