Cranbrook has lost a great craftsman, and a great business is closing,
Fred Schreiner , the Cranbrook Cobbler, and his wife Ellie, ran a unique service that’s rare these days, repairing the boots and shoes of the citizens of the East Kootenay.
Fred is remembered by friends and clients as a very kind man, who did a lot for people.
“If he saw a customer couldn’t afford [the work he was doing for them], he did it anyway,” one friend said.
Fred Schreiner and his wife Ellie Swanson started up in business in Cranbrook about 10 years ago, with Ellie Bay Yarns and Shoe Repair located on the Strip. After moving to Alberta to look after Fred’s ailing mother, they moved back to Cranbrook, and re-opened as Cranbrook Cobblers on Van Horne Street.
As well as boots and shoes, Fred repaired purses, hockey equipment, saddles, bridles, firefighter’s boots and equipment, and the whole host of leather goods and footwear that requires that most celebrated of crafters — the cobbler — to repair.
But the business was affected recently by supply chain issues because of Covid, and Fred’s ill health, a friend said.
Fred Schreiner passed away Oct. 19.
The business is thus closing, and it needs clients to come get their belongings at 250 Van Horne Street South in Cranbrook by Oct. 31. Ellie will be there every day from 10 a.m. to 4 pm.