Success a shoe-in for Andy

A Loughborough shoe by TIM BEARD repairer to the stars is proving how well heeled his business is by marking his 20th anniversary.

Andy Rice, 47, owner of Carillon Court Shoe Repairs in Carillon Court Shopping Centre and Andy Rice & Sons Ltd, was congratulated on his staying power by various people, including Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan.

Starting as an apprentice with the British Shoe Corporation more than 30 years ago, Andy has served the likes of Hollywood actor Stephen Graham, cricketer David Gower, and even specially-adapted trainers for members of Team GB’s shot putting squad for London 2012.

Andy, who is married to Liz and has two sons, Jack, 13, and Finley, nine, first dipped his toe into self employment in 1993 after he was made redundant.

He now has a busy business empire of five outlets in and around the Loughborough area including the Carillon

Court store which is now in its 15th year. His nine-strong team not only repair shoes but also do watch repairs and batteries, key cutting, engraving and stock leather and travel goods.

Andy, who lives in Rothley, said: “Myself and my team, who I train up myself from scratch, are highly skilled in what we do and can turn our hand to more or less anything. “I have had some unusual requests over the years including, most recently, a visit from ShaunPickering whois theson of the former BBC television broadcaster Ron Pickering.

“He had these size 15 trainers from one of the London 2012 shot putters he was coaching for the Olympics and heneeded certain grip on the soles, one set for the wetweather and one set for the dry so they were prepared for different conditions.

“When they spin round, they are obviously on one point of the foot and it is that area which needed particular attention and it had to be right.

“It wasn’t something that I had done before but I promised to do my best for him and he was very pleased with the end result.

“He later told me they had worked really well.” In his time, Andy has worked on all manner of footwear from dancing shoes to workmen’s boots.

“The largest size I have ever worked on is a 16 and that was WELL HEELED: Andy Rice is congratulated on 20 years in business by Nicky Morgan MP for a gentleman at the Carillon Court store,”he said.

“The smallest was for a lady who was a size two, but I have had some ladies with size 11 or 12. Everyone is different.” Offering her congratulations, Baljit Kooner, Carillon Court manager, said: “Andy offers a very valued service and I know his loyal customers think very highly of him.

“I would like to congratulate him on his 20th anniversary and we look forward to many more successful years.”