Goody Two Shoes
By Stacy Milbouer
Fiddlehead Contributing Editor
Photography by Marsha VanderMey
Saad Moussa has been a heeler of soles for more than three decades and he has no plans of stopping.
The career cobbler’s shop, Nashua Shoe Repair, is an integral part of Nashua’s downtown, wedged in among the micro-breweries, boutiques, cafés and restaurants right off Main Street. Truth be told, stepping into the shop is like stepping into the past when people took pride in handwork and a lifetime of perfecting a craft.
Moussa, who is originally from Syria, has made the United States his home. He does custom repairs using some machines and tools that are more than a century old. He also sells leather shoes and jackets, and, like apocryphal alchemists, he magically transforms footwear.
Moussa can convert a normal-width sneaker into a 4E for customers with especially wide feet, and he can painstakingly build up a regular pair of shoes so someone with a walking problem can sashay around like everyone else.
All that and friendly chat with whomever walks through the doors of his small shop. Recently, he told a customer about the man who came in with a pair of 16-year-old shoes that he wanted repaired. Moussa said there was nothing extraordinary about them, but the man was willing to pay whatever it took to fix them up.
“Turns out the shoes were worn by his father who had died,” Moussa said. “I fixed them like new. That’s what I love about my business. I do something for people.”