The Etsy Blog

The 91-Year-Old Cobbler


When I ran across this video, I knew I had to share. Frank Catalfumo is a 91-year-old shoemaker and repairer in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, where he has lived all his life. He first opened the doors to F&C Shoes in 1945; at the time, there were five shoe repair shops in a three block radius, and now, as he says, “There is nothing.” He continues to work five days a week alongside his son Michael. For more images of Frank and his shop, check out Dustin Cohen’s photo gallery.

4 Featured Comments

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  • ConnieGriffin

    Connie Griffin from ConnieGriffin says: Featured

    Very glad to have chanced upon this today. What a wonderful face. What wonderful hands. I wish he were near enough to have the chance to bring him my shoes for repair. Touching and inspiring!!

    2 years ago

  • arekaybk

    Renee Kleszczewski says: Featured

    I think this story is fantastic! I live in Bensonhurst and passed by this Shoe Repair endless times not knowing what a vintage gem this is. I now know where to bring my shoes and support the locals. Thank you much!

    2 years ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop says: Featured

    Growing up in Brooklyn in the '60's and remember well that every shoe repair man was an Italian gentleman complete with accent and sweet dispostion. It has been a long time since I brought my shoes in to such a craftsman. Very special kudos should go to his son for taking up the craft along side his father; that is very special.

    2 years ago

  • marysworkshop

    Mary Wolf from marysworkshop says: Featured

    As sweet and inspirational as this feature is, it also might cause us to pause and consider the importance of passing on this depth of character, hands on trade skills, and a strong work ethic to the next generation. Maybe instead of wanting so many things, we will choose quality, buy local and repair rather than throw away. Apparently, father and son have been fortunate to have enough customers do just that.

    2 years ago