Lark Shoes & Repair offers complete repair service for shoes, boots, handbags, riding boots, and zippers on shoes and purses.
This is an old-school shoe store and a family-owned business. The family also operates Red Hill Shoes & Repair, the only shoe reir shop in San Anselmo.
Shelves hold leather oil, products for coloring, bleaching, softening, water and stain protector for leather suede and fabrics, shampoos, shoe polish and dye, plus pads for arch support and metatarsal problems, heel and arch cushions, shoe trees, shoe horns, drizzle booties and orthotic supports.
The store is widely known for the large selection of sheepskin boots and slippers. They also sell sandals, walking shoes and Indian handbags with fringe. Among the brands are Birkenstock, Bostonian, Clarks, Dansko, Ecco, Keen, Reiker, Romika, Santana Boots, Seibel, Teva and UGG.
The father-son duo behind the counter have developed a loyal following in the community. When it comes to shoes, they know they're business. When it comes to questions about business, they kindly defer to other members of the team/family at the Red Hill store.
Avo Jerejian, who runs the San Anselmo store, is the the fourth of five brothers and Armenian by ethnicity, but was born in Beirut, Lebanon, which used to be known as the Paris of the Middle East.
Escaping the Lebanese civil war, Avo, as he is proudly known by his customers, brought his wife and children first to Paris then immigrated legally to the U.S. on Jan. 1, 1977. They landed in San Francisco and fell in love with the Bay Area.
After eight years, they moved to Pasadena for a time, but returned to Marin County because Avo felt it was a better place for his children’s education than Southern California.
The business was originally located at and first owned by his father-in-law, who had been a famous shoe designer in Lebanon. Avo learned the craft through on-the-job training.
“I love my customers,” he said. “They are fantastic people. I listen to understand what they want, and then explain what is possible. They trust me. Some leave their cars running, toss their shoes on the counter and don’t even wait for a tag. They just say, ‘please fix them for me’ and I do.”
According to Avo, having proper arch support is the most important part of a shoe. “For bad backs and knee pain, a little heel is always best,” he said. He often makes arch supports for kids’ gym shoes.
The prices are very reasonable. “Many customers ask if I’m sure I’m charging enough,” said Avo. “I try to accommodate their needs and the economy.”
He donates gift certificates for repair services or shoes to schools and charities, and feels he could write a book about the business. “Years ago, before I was married, I always noticed women’s shoes,” he laughed. “Now I fix them.”
Everyone asks about his accent. When he tells them where is he from, they want to know what is happening in the Middle East. “I keep up on world affairs,” said Avo. “Some customers come in just to talk, they don’t even bring their shoes.”
In 25 years, not one item has been lost in his shop. “My customers have confidence in me,” he said. “I am known for very complicated, delicate work on shoes and handbags. I like the challenge and the reward is a satisfied customer who returns to my shop. They are happy and I am happy.”
Lark Shoes & Repair
2239 Larkspur Landing Circle
Larkspur, CA 94939