Business of the week: This Newington Green cobbler shirks banks to accommodate customers

PUBLISHED: 10:02 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:29 25 September 2018

Ahmet Kamil runs High Class Shoes in Newington Green. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

Ahmet Kamil runs High Class Shoes in Newington Green. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey


From start-ups to household names, the Gazette takes to the streets each week to find and profile a local business with a difference. This week we spoke to a Newington Green cobbler who has been fixing and flogging shoes to the community for the past 35 years.

Ahmet Kamil’s father founded High Class Shoe Repairs, trained him, and then bequeathing his boy the business.

“It’s nice working with friendly local people who you understand,” said Ahmet, who grew up in Clissold Crescent.

“When a customer brings their shoes in I can never understand exactly what’s in their mind – but 99 per cent of the time I get it right.”

He said the shops gets a lot of familiar faces, with about 20pc coming from passing trade.

Ahmet added: “In the beginning the shop just sold shoes but in business you have to adapt to what the customer wants, so now we sell keys too.”

“Customers have lots of choice, of course, but they should come here because of the high quality of my work. I get self-satisfaction from doing a job well.

“I have been teased over the years that another shop is going to open up next door – but could they compete wih my craftsmanship?”

Ahmet sat he only deals in cash because he doesn’t “want to deal with the banks”, adding this allows him to keep prices low.

“When new customers come in they love the place because it’s original,” he said. “It’s unlike these modern places.”

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 14:23

Neighbours described the “heartbreaking” moment an 18-year-old was stabbed in Canonbury last night – his attacker is still at large.

Yesterday, 10:12

Wireless promoter Live Nation has been given the green light to carry on holding the festival in Finsbury Park after a licensing review – but artists will be “encouraged” not to swear.

Yesterday, 09:04

The victims commissioner is visiting the Ben Kinsella Trust today to learn about its life-saving workshops, which educate young people about the horror of carrying knives.

Yesterday, 08:54

Year 5 kids from St John the Evangelist school have designed a “vibrant” and “energetic” tapestry for The Charterhouse.

Mon, 13:00

An innovative NHS project that hires people with first-hand experience of mental illness to support mental health patients across Islington has won a national award.

Mon, 11:59

A hundred neighbours were rushed from their beds on Saturday evening as a major gas leak saw Green Lanes locked down.

Mon, 10:48

A chatty Big Issue seller who died alone in a hostel room. A table tennis-playing “teddy bear” who killed himself. At least four people who were homeless in Islington have died over the last 12 months, but no one is recording their deaths.

Mon, 07:55

Islington has enrolled in national anti-sugar campaign to battle tooth decay and unhealthy diets.


Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now