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Monday, November 28, 2016

Nashua cobbler offers service with care

By DARRELL HALEN
Correspondent

Asign that hangs in the storefront window of Saad Moussa's downtown business, Nashua Shoe Repair, features both a "before" and an "after" image of a man's shoe.

Unlike its previous look, the "after" appearance of the shoe, which Moussa worked on, includes a new sole and a nice, polished look. ...

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Asign that hangs in the storefront window of Saad Moussa's downtown business, Nashua Shoe Repair, features both a "before" and an "after" image of a man's shoe.

Unlike its previous look, the "after" appearance of the shoe, which Moussa worked on, includes a new sole and a nice, polished look.

Lasting impression

Moussa wants people to know that he will take good care of the shoes, boots and other items they will bring to him to be repaired.

"I always take care of my customers," said Moussa, who adds that people won't have to wait more than a week to get their repaired footwear back.

Moussa is fairly new to downtown. He opened his store on Temple Street about three months ago, and he's still making a name for himself with downtown shoppers.

The reason he chose the location? Foot traffic.

Heeling and dealing

Moussa also sells a variety of brands of men's and women's shoes - he eventually plans to add footwear for kids to his inventory - along with boots, leather jackets, belts, handbags, some luggage and shoe accessories, including laces and cleaning products.

Customers walking into his store, which features wooden shelves, metal racks and hardwood flooring, are greeted with the aroma of leather.

In the back, the shop is equipped with various machines, including stitching machines; nail machines; and machines to cut, trim, polish and finish repair jobs.

Moussa, a Manchester resident, can do a variety of shoe repairs and enhancements - from replacing soles and patching holes to refinishing colors and orthopedic work. He can also fix zippers and luggage, stitch handbags and make other repairs.

Most of the time, he said, he can have repairs completed in just a few days.

"I have fun," said Moussa, who added that customers are appreciative of his work and are happy when they return to the store to pick up their repaired items. "When I do something, I do it from my heart."

Moussa's work hasn't been confined to the types of products he carries in his store. Recently, he was hired to change the leather seats, one at a time, at a downtown barber shop.

Making tracks

Although he has been in Nashua only since August, Moussa isn't new to the shoe business. He has spent about a quarter of a century working in the shoe industry, including owning a shoe repair and sales business in Salem for 21 years.

After coming to the United States from Syria around age 23, Moussa, now 52, worked for shoe manufacturers in Lawrence and Haverhill, Mass. He then went to work for a short time for his brother-in-law, who sells and repairs shoes.

"I learned right away from him," Moussa said.

His work was so good, Moussa said with a smile, that his brother-in-law told him he needed to go out on his own and start his own business.