Best foot for­ward

Bar­bers Shoex has served the lo­cal com­mu­nity for 50 years

Southern Riverina news - - News -

BAR­BERS Shoex stock the lat­est qual­ity shoes and have been help­ing lo­cals put their best foot for­ward for 50 years.

The months of July/Au­gust mark 50 years in store for the fam­ily-run busi­ness which is one of the long­est es­tab­lished in Fin­ley and the Ber­ri­gan Shire.

James Bar­ber pur­chased the Fin­ley Shoe Sa­lon in 1961.

Mr Bar­ber was born and bred on the Gold Coast, where he served as a Cap­tain in the Royal Mer­chant Navy.

It was his mar­riage to lo­cal girl Mar­garet Hamil­ton that led Mr Bar­ber to move his wife of 10 years and their ex­pand­ing fam­ily back to her home town in the South­ern Rive­rina.

Over the years, Bar­bers Shoex has be­come an iconic part of the town.

Orig­i­nally lo­cated closer to where Mogg Os­bourne ac­coun­tants are to­day, Bar­bers moved to their cur­rent store in the early 70s.

The grow­ing busi­ness ex­panded to open an­other store in Co­bram and Bar­bers be­came known as the ‘one stop shoe shop’ in the re­gion.

Mr and Mrs Bar­ber’s daugh­ters Lynne, Pam, Vanessa and Mona Lisa, to­gether with their chil­dren have all had a part in the fam­i­ly­ori­ented busi­ness.

The Fin­ley and Co­bram stores are now run by Lynne and Pam to­gether with Lynne’s daugh­ter Si­mone Raco and Dawn Humphries (Co­bram Shoex) and Kate Arm­strong (Fin­ley Shoex).

Lynne cred­its much of the busi­ness’ suc­cess to the work ethic and com­mu­nity spirit of her par­ents.

She said over the 50 years in busi­ness, Mr Bar­ber was a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on many em­ploy­ees.

‘‘Dad would get phone calls from other stores where our past em­ploy­ees had gone to work thank­ing him for train­ing them so well,’’ Pam said.

She said past cus­tomers and friends still come back to the store to tell them about their early ex­pe­ri­ences with Bar­bers and how ‘‘Mr Bar­ber would never turn us away’’.

Fit­tingly, in 2010 Bar­bers Shoex was recog­nised in the Ber­ri­gan Shire and South­ern Rive­rina Busi­ness Awards.

Mr Bar­ber took out top hon­our as Busi­ness­man of the Year for his ‘‘out­stand­ing cus­tomer ser­vice and con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity.’’

Mr Bar­ber passed away in Jan­uary this year, but Bar­bers Shoex re­mains an in­valu­able and well re­spected lo­cal busi­ness.

Fin­ley Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Rand Wil­son said Bar­bers suc­cess in busi­ness is a credit to the fam­ily’s hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to the com­mu­nity.

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