Greg, or “Gus” as he is known to his customers, is an experienced cobbler in his own right, with more than 35 years of experience in the trade. His expertise had its beginnings in 1984 with his wife’s grandfather, Nicholas Garifalos, owner of Star Shoe Repair in Westwood NJ. Like Gus, Nick pioneered a successful family business spanning 75 years and a following of three generations in his footsteps. It was under his masterful guidance, Greg began his apprenticeship, eventually acquiring ownership of Star Shoe with his wife, Mary Ann.
Greg grew up in the mild climates of St. Augustine FL, so by 1997 the northeast winters and a longing for “home” convinced him and his family it was time to return south. Following a few years of employment by the Kounoupas’ and his eventual purchase from them in 2003, he moved Gus & Company from the corner of Laura and Adams St. a few doors north across from Hemming Plaza (now James Weldon Johnson Park). There he expanded the business to include a line of fine leather goods. When the business eventually outgrew that location, Greg relocated it to Adams St., diagonally across from the courthouse, where it stands today. Greg’s son, Lee, eager to learn the family trade and who is now the fourth generation cobbler, looked to his father for training.
In 2009 he successfully set up a second Gus &Co Company in Orange Park on Wells Road. While shoe styles and their manufacturing materials have changed over the years, the tradition of the expert shoe and leather repair, professionalism, and excellent customer service, forged by the Felos and Garifalos families, steadfastly remains.