Head over to your closet and you’re sure to find a pair of your favorite shoes, the pair that no matter how worn or scuffed they’ve become, they still hold the title of being your favorite pair of shoes, but what happens when your beloved pair of shoes no longer look like the pair you once remembered. Well if you live in or around Oakland Park FL, then you’re in luck because Oakland Park has its very own Shoe Whisperer, Zak Yeni, owner of Crossroad Shoe Repair.
Crossroad Shoe Repair specializes in bringing back the luster to your preferred pair of shoes. Zak, who is of Greek-Armenian descent, is the owner and sole shoe repairman of Crossroad Shoe Repair, located at 53 W. Prospect Rd in Oakland Park. He’s been the dedicated shoe repair of choice in Oakland Park for 27 years.
When you visit the shop you notice some vintage photos alongside one of the walls, which tell the history of his family and their lifelong passion for this industry. They are of his father’s factory in Cyprus, where his family used to make customized men’s shoes.
Zak has called South Florida home for many years and fondly claims that there is nowhere else he’d rather call home. “South Florida weather is special to me,” says Zak when describing reasons why he enjoys living in South Florida. “I visited many places in the US but South Florida is where I found there was no need for winter clothing”, he jokingly adds.
Zak knows that your perfect pair of shoes is an investment which is why he puts a lot of care and passion into the dexterity of his work. He is the sole “cobbler” of Crossroad Shoe Repair. For those that don’t know, cobbler is the term for someone who is a shoe repair person. Being the lone person that handles each pair, I asked Zak what is the turnaround time that one can expect for service. He explains that it’s all a matter of the type of shoe and the type of request. Some repairs may take a day while others make take a couple of weeks but on average he tries to stay within a 2-3 turnaround time for his clients.
So like most of the clients, shoe repair is what gets you in the door, and while you’re there you’ll notice there is so much more to this business than just shoe repair. Here you’ll also find for purchase shoes, bags, luggage, belts, wallets, products for shoe maintenance and much more.
It takes a special type of personality to accomplish what Zak does with his business. Although he has some family that keeps him company at the workshop, Zak is the one that will tend to clients, answer phones, and handle all the tasks associated with running the business. Shoe repair is hard work not everyone is up for the challenge but in Zak’s case it’s his expertise and he continues to hone his craft.
His customer base does not stop at Oakland Park. Zak has customers come from all over the state of Florida and he even has clients from Texas, Michigan, and the Islands. Some of Crossroad Shoe Repair’s clients include several locations of Broward Sherriff’s office throughout the County which they’ve provided ongoing shoe repair service for over 15 years.
If you have shoes that are in desperate need of repair, don’t fret. Head over to the Shoe Whisperer of Oakland Park at Crossroad Shoe Repair.
Maria Scudella-Beltran was born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, right outside of New York City. She moved to South Florida in 2004 and graduated from Florida International University with a bachelors’ degree in Marketing and Communications.
In 2010, she purchased her first home in the North Andrews Gardens area in Oakland Park. After several years of working in the retail industry, Maria took on a part-time internship at a marketing agency and continued her education through Walden University where she earned her Master’s degree in Marketing and Communications.
Currently, she works in Marketing and during her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and traveling.