Traditional Shoemaking in Barrio Italia

The girl is standing beside a bench strewn with leather, knives and paper.  Her brow is furrowed with concentration, lips pursed, as she deftly follows the thin lines that dance their way across the dyed hide in her hand.  The light is dim and the air is musty, tainted by an odor that harkens back to a time before shopping malls, a time when each store´s bounty was not churned out by an unknown´s hands but instead painstakingly created, borne of passion, time and skill.  The girl is making shoes, art.

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Shoe making today is a heavily manufactured process where the various stages of production are divided in a factory and shared by a multitude of workers; more often than not, the shoes we buy in mega stores are the result of industrial sweatshops in countries such as China.  Originally, however, this process was undertaken by just one – known as a cordwainer – who would oversee the entire production and perform the various 68 to 390 steps themselves, along with some 15 different techniques.

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Enter Padre Nuestro, a tiny store in Ñuñoa that is outfitted by just one man and his apprentice, a design alumni now pursuing shoemaking. She has been training for four months but the apprenticeship will take her several years.

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A pair of shoes is the result of an arduous process. First shoes are designed, followed by the preparation of lasts and the cutting and stamping of the leather. The pieces are then dyed, sewn, fitted to the last to form for several weeks, and finally assembled.  The process doesn´t end here, as the sole has to be hammered into shape and the shoe then has to be ´finished´ which may include burnishing, rasping, smoothing, and other techniques.

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At Padre Nuestro, your feet are measured and a mold is found that best matches your foot. Over the course of around one month, your shoes are handmade by this two-person team, with the end result a pair of shoes that have been made for no-one else but you.

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There is currently a waiting list of around two months at Padre Nuestro.  The store sells shoes for men only.  

 

Photos reproduced with permission from Padre Nuestro

The Nitty Gritty

Address: Tegualda 1517, local 1, Factoria Tegualda, Ñuñoa. Metro Santa Isabel

Phone: +56 9 8314 0448

Website here

Facebook here

Instagram here.

 

Tip: while you are here, pop next door to Silvestre Bistro to take advantage of the Wild Food Movement that has come to Santiago! Great prices, ambiance, service and delicious food!!  Barrio Italia is a fantastic place to go shopping, plus you are supporting local small businesses and keeping traditions – just like at Padre Nustro – – alive.

 

Pasteleria Lalaleelu

If you live in Nunoa then you are SO much luckier than I am.

No, no, no – it has nothing to do with any of those reasons you are probably conjuring up right now. It’s actually because you live in close vicinity to this place: Pasteleria Lalaleelu!!

Run by Young and Amy, a husband and wife team from South Korea and Taiwan respectively, this is a shop that knows it’s cakes and takes them seriously. The couple met in Australia while studying French Cuisine and the French’s reputation for excellence, refinery and delicious pastries are evident the moment you step inside this small but chic shop located just steps away from Metro Santa Isabel.  They opened when Amy was pregnant with baby Andres with the idea that everything on offer would be suitable for children, families and pregnant women.  They use no colourings and offer plenty of sugar-free and also dairy-free options for the vegans. No corners are cut either – everything is prepared from scratch on the premises using seasonal ingredients.  See that Raspberry Tart?  That vibrant, rocking red is all from the fruit which Young has the skills to masterfully display.

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The shop itself is small and simple but one of it’s highlights is Amy and Young themselves who man the store every day. They talk to everyone and when I visit they seem to know every customer. The serving staff greet everyone with huge smiles and, to be sure, everyone leaves happy. This is a place where the atmosphere is genuine and where families are welcome, just take a deeper look at the shop name, a mix of Amy and Young’s last names and Lala, the nickname of Andres.

But the reason to visit any cake shop is surely for it’s cakes and Lalaleelu does not disappoint. Highlights for me include the Jezy Limon, Torta de Limon and the so-good-I-want-to-marry-it, Devil’s Cake. For those stuck at the counter struggling to decide between winter fruits and chocolate, why not try them all by splurging on the Cake Testing option? There are also a variety of drinks, breads and other pastries to try.

Young is a master of his craft who serves a dazzling array that places Lalaleelu at the top of their game. Nunoans you have a good reason to smile with food of this quality on your doorstep. Definately worth a special trip.

Website: http://www.lalaleelu.cl

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Pasteler%C3%ADa-Lala-Leelu-761747433852311/?fref=ts

Phone: (2) 2980 7252

Address: Santa Isabel 0106, Nunoa (Metro Santa Isabel)

Opening Hours: Thursday, Friday & Saturday 11am-20.00

 

* Pasteleria Lalaleelu also offer custom-made cakes *

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