'Heart and sole' of The Hyde - shoe repair shop closes after four decades

Vito Valenti is set to retire after running his shoe repair shop at The Hyde in Stevenage for more than 40 years

Vito Valenti is set to retire after running his shoe repair shop at The Hyde in Stevenage for more than 40 years - Credit: Vito Shoe Repair

The owner of Vito's Quality Shoe Repair in Stevenage has closed its doors for the final time after 40 years in business.

Vito Valenti has been mending shoes, cutting keys, sharpening tools and making leather belts with a cheerful smile, friendly chat and often an espresso for more than four decades.

At age 76, Vito, born in Sicily, has decided to retire and enjoy his free time in his allotment and helping his family with their many projects.

He said: "I have really enjoyed my 40 years being part of the friendly Hyde community. 

"My customers are great, as well as the other traders, and I will miss them all.

"Sad to leave but looking forward to having more free time."

His business making scaffolding belts and frogs will continue online and customers can place orders at www.scaffoldingfrogs.com

In true Sicilian style, Vito invites the community for coffee and cake on Saturday, September 17, as he opens his shop for the day to say farewell to his customers and friends.