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Brothers Alexander and Dimitrios Patakos say they owe everything they have to New Brunswick, New Jersey.
“New Brunswick is a great city because New Brunswick was the reason that we catched ourselves,” said Alex. Dimitrios agreed, “New Brunswick saved my life. I’m super patriotic about New Brunswick.”
Born in a middle class family in South Brunswick, the brothers found themselves homeless during their teens and turned to New Brunswick for a new place to call home. Their store, which opened only a few months ago, is a chance for fresh beginnings in a city they both love.
Hub City Soles sells sneakers, apparel, and accessories for people looking to add some style into their wardrobe. The store carries brands such as Polo, Nike, Jordans, and more. Alex prides himself of having anything that customers are looking for. If the shoe a customer wants isn’t in the store, they will order it from one of their distributors immediately.
“It’s good to give the people what they want. That’s what we really really want to do. We want to give people as many options as we can,” said Dimitrios.
Hub City Soles is also one of the few licensed stores to sell Supreme apparel. A well-known brand in skate culture, Supreme typically only sells their merchandise at their own locations. However, New Brunswick customers can get Supreme gear at affordable prices right at Hub City Soles instead of having to travel all the way to New York City.
In addition to the sneakers and apparel that Hub City Soles offers, the store also sells a wide variety of glasswork such as jewelry, marbles, and smoking pipes. All of the glass is handmade by Dimitrios. Custom orders can always be requested.
“I like sculpting, I like art in general,” Dimitrios said, glass “is a really cool medium for me to explore.”
All of the glass used is American-made glass. Dimitrios works with a small blow torch to create the personal works of art and items he calls “heady glass.”
For the Patakos brothers, a big part of creating Hub City Soles in New Brunswick is the community. High school students are invited to work with the brothers to learn about creating an effective small business, and students get a discount if they bring in a good report card.
For Alex, showing the community the love he has for sneakers, and how selling shoes positively changed his life is paramount. He prides himself on “always doing honest business,” and encourages the teenagers who come into the shop to do the same.
“Don’t sell bags, sell sneakers, you know what I mean?” Alex said.
In the future, Alex plans to work with local street brands and artists to give them a space to display and sell their work in the store. Currently, Hub City Soles is working with rapper King F on a creative project.
Hub City Soles is working hard to build a place for itself in the community, not only as a small business, but also as a place for New Brunswick culture to thrive. Their shop is located on the lower level of 84 Paterson Street and is open from 11 AM to 8 PM everyday.