MOSES LAKE — Peter Steffens talks about the feeling of having on a pair of freshly shined shoes with a fondness that hearkens back to the days of old when city streets were lined with shoe shine stands. Times have certainly changed since then, but to Steffens a good quality shoe shine will never go out of fashion.
“Oh man, a pair of shined shoes can put a big smile on your face and a pep in your step. You’ll have a lot more confidence when you approach a new situation whether in business or going out on a date with someone,” Steffens said with a grin.
Steffens has been operating his business, the Third Avenue Shoeshine Stand, since early 2017. The stand is located in the Smith Martin Building on Third Avenue in Moses Lake and has a distinctive feel that brings patrons back to a time when a lot people made a conscious effort to have their shoes shined on a constant basis, all the while enjoying quality conversation with the shoe shiner.
“A lot of good conversation has happened with people. I can pretty much work on any type of shoe that is brought to me.”
Steffens, who has spent a majority of his adult life in Moses Lake, became interested in shoe shining back in 2008 when he did his first shoe shine at an airport in western Washington. At the time Steffens was going to law school and even though that never panned out, his curiosity in shoe shining was sparked. Fast forward to June 2016, Steffens did a D-Day outreach in Moses Lake and ended up shining 11 pairs of shoes. He was able to obtain additional shoe shining supplies in the following months and gathered a tip from community members about what a good shoe shine entails. He was later approached by the owner of the Smith Martin Building about the possibility of putting a shoe shine stand inside the building.
“He gave me a nice deal that I just pay annual rent to be here and it’s been pretty good. My mom helped me buy the stand and it was built in Cookeville, Tenn. and they shipped it over here and then my friend Jeff Heimark and I assembled it,” he said. “I have a lot of attorney customers and doctors and some insurance agents and baristas and farmers. A lot of different types of people.”
Steffens charges a flat rate of $12 per pair of shoes that he shines. He accepts walk ins and asks people who want to set up an appointment to text message him at 509-989-9117. For more information on the business visit www.facebook.com/Third-Avenue-Shoeshine-Stand-996144863857273.
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.