Couple helps repair soles of shoes and souls of the community for 27 years

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A Bronx couple is grateful that their botanica business is one of the last ones standing in the South Bronx after years of serving people in Mott Haven and around the region.

Every time Lupe Miranda says “thank you” to a customer, she says she means it.

Miranda says she is grateful for her customers over the 27 years she has owned Shoe Repair & Botanica on East 138th Street.

Miranda came to the Bronx from Ecuador 30 years ago and started doing shoe repairs and selling bags and luggage. Not long after she opened her shoe repair shop, a stranger stopped by the shop and said in the future that she would own a botanica.

Miranda, who says it was like destiny, has been working with her husband for 15 years. She says both of them are very spiritual and are happy to help everyone who walks into the shop.

“You can replace your shoes, but you can't replace your faith you know,” says Miranda.

Over the years they say the shoe business has declined because it's easier to buy cheap shoes these days than to spend the money to get old ones fixed.

However, customers continue to come in for religious candles, spiritual oils, incents and more, for whatever they're going through.

“Everybody has difficult times in life, but you don't have to lose your faith and your hope for a better tomorrow,” says Miranda.

While business has changed over the years, so has rent, especially in the rapidly changing Mott Haven neighborhood.

“When I got here I was paying little, now I pay a lot,” says Miranda.

The couple has hope that they can stay here for their customers.

“My customers are important to me. I live and I’m going to stay here for them,” says Miranda.

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