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Jul 05, 2008

Vicky Sanderson
Special to The Star

We were mentioned in the star related to our leather furniture repair and restoration. Here is what they said about The Sandalman:

If Fido has chewed a hole in a beloved leather chair, Cory Bernatt could be your new best friend. The owner of The Sandalman, a.k.a. "A Guy in a Store that Fixes Leather" (1181 Davenport Rd. at Oakwood), can replace old leather, restore tired leather through a reconditioning process or re-upholster and refurbish larger pieces. For a quote, email a picture of the piece needing work to him through his website, which includes information on hourly rates as well as some philosophical opining on deciding whether items are worth repairing or are simply fit for the pit.


If it's broke, fix it

Repairing rather than replacing damaged items helps the Earth and your wallet. Before you toss, check our Globe Style list to see whether it can be saved

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

April 19, 2008

Leather goods

The more you wear high-quality leather, the better it looks. So why toss away your perfectly weathered MO851 computer bag simply because the pocket is torn when a leather fixer can make it all better?

One such expert, Toronto's Sandalman (416-533-6335), affectionately known as “a guy in a store that fixes leather,” can fix your treasures right up. He reconditions, mends and dry-cleans all types of leather garments and handbags, relines jackets and reupholsters furniture. And he does it using an environmentally friendly cleaner.


This is a fun little story that goes back to when I first started out in business, I hope you enjoy.

Cory Bernatt


Man who helped deliver baby in Toyota outside his store gets annual visit from her grateful relatives



Dec 22, 2007

Patty Winsa
staff reporter

Family still revved 18 years after Celica's arrival

It has all the hallmarks of a true Christmas story ... child born to parents in cramped, unfamiliar quarters. And like that other story, it's celebrated and retold each year.

Except in this tale, the child was born in a two-door Toyota on Harbord St. in Toronto.

Yesterday, on the eve of her 18th birthday, Celica Truong – named for the car she was born in – and her family, celebrated the occasion with "Uncle Cory," the store owner who rushed to help them.

"The thing that amazes me is that they come to visit every year," said Cory Bernatt, 42, owner of The Sandalman Leathercare. "Anybody would go and call and try to help. But for them ... you just don't find people that have that tradition and honour."

Bernatt never expected to see them again after that first year. "But for some reason, they come back."

The Truongs and Bernatt remembered that day as they exchanged gifts in his store, now located on Davenport Rd. near Dovercourt Rd.

It was a Friday, the last one before Christmas, and businesses let staff out early. The Truongs left Pickering around 1 p.m. headed for a hospital in downtown Toronto, but an hour and half later, in heavy traffic, they'd made it only as far as Bernatt's store.

"My wife (Diep) says, `My water's broken.' So I just stop the car right away," said Khim Truong, who ran across the street and asked an officer directing traffic to call for an ambulance. "When I come back, my wife said, `The baby's head is out.'"

"It was —23C, I remember how freezing it was," said Bernatt, who left his store with T-shirts to swaddle the newborn.

By the time the ambulance arrived a half-hour later, Celica had made her way out.

The story received a lot of media coverage at the time and the Truongs not only have the T-shirt as a memento, but newspaper clippings, and have even re-enacted the event for television news. A U.S. magazine article that covered the unusual birth ran with the headline "1990 Celica runs on milk not gas."

After 18 years, Celica is getting tired of telling the story. "I've told it so many times," she said.

"She doesn't want anyone to know," said her brother Jason, 19.

"I tell them, or my friends tell them the story of how I got my name," she said of people who ask about her unusual name.

Bernatt, who began as a sandal-maker and has two pairs on display in the Bata Shoe Museum, said he's never met anyone quite like the Truongs in his 25 years of business.

"I only see (Celica) once a year. ... These people are the sweetest people you'll ever meet," he said, noting that they even started bringing presents for his two daughters after they were born.

"I think we're keeping something alive by this tradition," he says.

"In our culture, it's a tradition that if someone is good to us, we always remember and that's why we come back every year," explained Diep Truong.

"We've become friends," said her husband, Khim. And that has all the hallmarks of a true Christmas story.



There is still time to do the right thing!

Summer of 2007

Toronto hydro launched a challenge to all business in the Toronto area to cut back on their consumption of electricity. The Sandalman was chosen to participate and this is the image they used and sent out a postcard to over 500,000 business in the gta asking for them to cut back by 10%.

The Sandalman is dedicated to the green factor whether it be saving energy by turning down the A.C. or restoring your favorite leather items to stop the waste piling high in the landfill. Do what you can to make a difference to the planet, we only have one chance to get it right.


Written by Zenya Sirant

June 9, 2007
Handles more than sandals

On the website of The Sandalman Leathercare, Cory Bernatt describes himself "a guy in a store that fixes leather" - One that's been open since 1982.

Q: What services do you provide
A: I do restorations to purses, jackets and furniture. So if it's drying out and fading, we do reconditioning treatments that applies natural animal oil back into the leather. We also do leather reupholstery for furniture. We also fix alot of bags, briefcases and purses. We make belts and in the summer we make custom sandals.
Q:Do you make custom clothing?
A:We can make all types of garments, generally we do this as a reproduction as we know the fit is right and we make modification to the pattern to customize it.


Excerpt from National Post article: June 9th, 2007


Miss Saigon Toronto Aida on Broadway Mamma Mia Toronto

The Sandalman has made sandals for many of the world class musicals including Miss Saigon, Aida, and Mamma Mia

The Sandalman sandals are gracing the feet of Alanis Morrisette in April 2002 issue of Flare magazine.


View Video Coverage On The Sandalman

The Sandalman has appeared on Breakfast Television, Eye on Toronto and CFTO News. We have added some of these Television appearances to the website and you can view them on our videos page.

French Chatelaine ordered a few pair of sandals and a leather belt to use in a photo shoot in St. Marten last year.

Click for Pictures

Toronto life is a very respected monthly magazine that caters to the upper crust of the Toronto community. The Sandalman has been named as the Best of the Decade from 1990-2000 in their Hall of Fame section.


At the corner of Spadina and Dupont you will find one of my Billboard ads

If you are driving in Toronto you may find yourself stuck behind one of my many bus ads.

Canadian clothing designer Ron Leal used The Sandalman sandals for his spring collection 1997 Click for Pictures

The Sandalman Leathercare has been chosen as Toronto's Best leather repair store for 1995, 1996, 1997,1998.1999,2000 and now 2001 by the Readers of Now Magazine

Click for results:

2000 results

2001 results

The CBC has a picture of Earle reconditioning a leather jacket on the CBC website. Click for photo

The leather Sandals and flute case worn by David Carradine in Kung Fu The Legend Continues were made by The Sandalman Leathercare.

Click here to view the Footwear Forum article on the Sandalman

Footwear Forum is one of Canada's national footwear publications. The privilege of being mentioned is usually reserved for large manufacturers who produce some of the worlds finest footwear. After hearing that the Bata Shoe Museum accepted sandals from Cory Bernatt made when he was just 14 years old they decided to make an exception. Click for the article

Click here to view the Contrast article on the Sandalman

Contrast A monthly Caribbean paper featured Cory Bernatt in a story related to his efforts in trying to get a sandal business established in Jamaica. Click for the article

Click here to view the Globe and Mail Fashion article on the Sandalman

The Globe and Mail is Canada's National newspaper. The article that Cory was mentioned in was written by the much respected fashion writer David Livingston.
Click for the article

Click here to view the Mono article on the Sandalman

Mono is a Japanese based magazine, last year they decided to dedicate an issue to Canadian business. They included an article on the Sandalman Leathercare in that issue.
Click for the article

The world renowned Bata Shoe Museum accepted one of the first pairs of sandals ever made when Cory Bernatt was just 14 years old. They were accepted to show Canadian craftsmanship from the 1970's

Home Home

The Sandalman Leathercare
1181 Davenport Road (corner of Oakwood and Davenport)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6H 2V3
Hours 11-6 Tuesday to Friday 11-5 Saturday
Closed Sunday and Monday
416-533-6-335 (same backwards)

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