ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A longtime local small business is being forced to move out due to the area being a flood zone.
From the sewing, shining and repairing, this family show repair shops is the only one left in Rockford. However, when they found out that they would have to close up shop in their current location, they decided to put their best foot forward and step in a new direction.
“When we first found out, yeah, we were, I guess you want to say afraid, because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Jeff Antinucci, owner of Charles Street Shoe Repair. “It started with my grandfather and my father, and the, and it’s really hard to stomach that we could lose that legacy of doing this.”
The City told Antinucci and his mother, Catherine Antinucci, that they had to start looking to relocate 10 months ago, but they had a tough time finding a new place for their shop to call home.
“When we first announced we’re going to Love Park a few months ago, yeah, a lot of people were upset, you know, because we’ve been around here for forever,” Antinucci said.
They got the place of their dreams at Rockford Plaza after a little more searching.
“Even as a little boy, I’d ask my grandpa, ‘why can’t we open. shop over at the plaza,’ because, like, it was like a wonderland over there,” Antinucci said. “You know, it’s hard to describe in words, but it’s really like you see the cliche, a dream come true. It’s something you’ve always wanted, someplace you’ve always wanted to, like, go or open up your business, and so, it’s happening. So yeah, we’re really happy.”
Catherine said that she is excited for the move, but will miss the neighbors that they have grown to love.
“I feel great. I think it’s going to it’s a good thing to do. I think it’s time to move on. We’re going to move up, we’re going up,” she said. “It’s kind of sad in a way, yeah. People that were here, we’re like a family and everybody’s gone now. I just wonder if I’ll ever see them again.”
The City is helping out with the moving fees and the rent difference, along with rebranding. The mother-son duo hopes that people will continue to patronize their friendly neighborhood shop.
“You know, when you’re under strenuous times or whatever, you don’t think it’s going to work out, just never give up, and I hope they learn, and most people do, but learn to support small business and get more interactive,” Antinucci said.
Charles Street Shoe Repair’s last day at their current location is September 15. They hope to be fully up and running at the Rockford Plaza on October 3.