Quickie Cobbler

Quickie Cobbler owner Chuck Jean stands Monday outside his West Kelowna shoe and luggage repair shop. A driver crashed into the business in November, but the damage hasn't yet been repaired. Jean says the boarded-up window gives many people the mistaken impression the business he started 39 years ago has closed.

A Westside cobbler wants insurers to pick up the pace in dealing with a window repair claim.

An out-of-control car crashed into the front of Quickie Cobbler in late November, but the necessary repairs still haven’t been completed.

“It’s a lot of nonsense, but it’s nonsense that’s costing me a lot of money,” Chuck Jean, owner of the long-established shop, said Monday. “Our business has completely dried up because everybody thinks we’re closed.

“We’re usually about three or so weeks behind on completing orders, but for a while now I haven’t had any work to do at all,” he said. “I’m really worried about my business. I’m losing my shirt here.”

A Quickie Cobbler customer crashed into the front of the shoe and luggage repair shop on Nov. 22. No one was hurt, but the shop’s front window was smashed and there were concerns the building’s structural integrity might have been compromised.

It also emerged the building, constructed in the mid-1970s, contains asbestos. Widely used for insulation and fireproofing, asbestos has been linked with cancer.

Sonja Janzen, whose company owns the Byland Road strip mall where Quickie Cobbler is located, says it’s taking time for her insurance company and its agents to follow the required protocols to assess the damage and come up with a remediation plan.

“I’m as frustrated as Chuck is, but it’s not a straightforward situation of replacing some glass,” Janzen said. “The latest word I have is that work on the asbestos should start next week. Hopefully, then it’ll just be a matter of a few more weeks before everything’s fixed. We have to follow the rules, do everything properly, because of course we’re interested in protecting everybody’s health.”

Jean has kept the business open since the accident, but there’s plywood across the front of the shop, which he says contributes to the perception he’s closed.

“I just want people to know we’re still open,” Jean said. “Next spring, I’ll have been in business 40 years, and I hope to still be around to celebrate.”