COOPERSTOWN – When Laura Jane and Wayne Alexander opened The Village Cobbler 15 years ago off Chestnut Street, it was a different downtown.
At the time, Chamber of Commerce then-director Polly Renckens was promoting the concept of a “Victorian village,” the Alexanders recalled, complete with the Victorian stroll each Christmas season, where people would dress up in 19th century garb.
In that context, the Americana tone of “Village Cobbler” made sense. Plus, the store’s inventory was almost exclusively shoes.
Since then, Village Cobbler has moved to upper Main Street, the proprietors have continued to evolve and adjust their inventory – adding women’s clothing and accessories, as well as a nook for men needing a tie or a dress shirt – and the Victorian village has evolved into more of a tourist destination.
On opening for this seasons, the Alexanders decided a name change was necessary to reflect their changing store and changing village, and received permission from the Planning Board earlier this month for a new sign – LJ’s Sassy Boutique – which was put in place last week at 165 Main St.
The legacy, however, lives on, at least for now: To signal to tourists returning to Main Street this summer, one “Village Cobbler” sign will remain hanging, to alert people that the Alexanders and many of the stores usual items remain in place.