Best foot forward
Barbers Shoex has served the local community for 50 years
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.