Tony Shoes is a shop where the owner, Tony Fargnoli, and his wife, Kathie, remember the brand and size their customers like, much the same way Tony’s father, Eddie, and his grandfather, Giantonio, did too. A Montreal landmark, it has occupied the same small storefront on Greene Avenue since 1937. But not for much longer.
The 83-year-old shop first announced it would be shutting down in June and kicked off an "everything must go" sale.
“We’ve been very lucky and blessed with the clientele we’ve had and we’re happy to be retiring,” said Kathie. “We’ll be able to play golf and play with our grandchildren.”
The sale is huge, with discounts of up to 85% off.
On Tuesday, Kathie said they still had about 3,000 pairs of shoes left in stock, which might sound like a lot but they’re going fast.
“A lady came in yesterday and bought 17 pairs,” she said.
Though 2020 has claimed many of our favouritebusinesses, Kathie said they’re not closing because of the pandemic even though COVID-19 has affected the shopping habits of customers in surprising ways.
There are plenty of dress shoes but winter boots have been selling out fast “because a lot of snowbirds who haven’t spent a winter here in 15 years or more,” are about to do just that.
Tony Shoes began with Giantonio Fargnoli, an Italian immigrant who opened the store on Greene and specialized in shoe repair.
Since then, the family has run the store for three generations.
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"I had such a visceral reaction to the ducks," she told MTL Blog.
"I immediately fell in love with them. It was a rainy afternoon when I stumbled upon the store and that discovery just made my day. I ended up buying a bunch of ducks for friends and family and I thought to myself, I’m going to open a duckie store in Montreal."
After opening in late spring 2020, Petropoulos thought her shop would be mostly popular with tourists, but with limited visitors to the city thanks to the pandemic, local Montrealers have become her best customers.
"I have been delighted and overwhelmed with the local support and enthusiasm for the shop and am very appreciative of how Montrealers have come, shopped local, and supported a small business like mine."