Shoemaking business doing well for Broderick Bennett
While many Jamaicans may not appreciate the growing presence of merchants of Asian origin in our commercial space, shoemaker Broderick Bennett says his business has benefited tremendously from their involvement.
"God bless the Chineyman them. They make cheap shoes, and when people buy the cheap shoes, they have to carry them come get it fix," Bennett told WESTERN STAR during an interview at his shop in Falmouth, Trelawny, on Saturday.
"They have to fix the knock-off them because they not spending their $2,000 or $3,000 to go down the drain, so I am always getting business."
Bennett is the operator of Joe Bennett's Shoemaker shop located at 7 Georges Street in Falmouth. It is a family business, which was established by his father in 1968. When he was attending the Montego Bay Technical School (now St James High), he went there to do his apprenticeship.
"People appreciate me working for them. Me work for the judge of Trelawny. Me work for the police inspector, me work for the police superintendent, the nurse, the teacher, everybody," Bennett said.
YOUTH NOT INTERESTED
"I enjoy the shoemaking business. I would do it all over again. I am just worried that my children are not interested in it and that young people are not looking to come into the business either," Bennett, 55 years old said.
"You have more poor people, so shoes are always here to fix," he continued". I get almost 30 pair of shoes per day to repair. Sometimes me have to refuse them."
While the trade can be profitable, Bennett admits that the unpleasant odour from some shoes taken in for repairs can be unbearable.
"You see this shoe? It is one of the worst pair that me accept to work on," Bennett said as he pointed to a pair of sneakers on a pile of shoes in his shop.
"A the wickedest thing me ever get, man! I have to sun them for about four to five days before I can work on them. The man all wash it before him carry come and it still smell," he said with a chuckle.