Having been located in the Manor House, Desborough since 1969 it was time for Dunkelman & Sons, a traditional shoe care product manufacturer, to begin a new phase in its 72-year history.
It all began in 1946 when Freddie Dunkelman - a professional ice hockey player, started to make ice hockey sticks in a small workshop in Battersea, London. After representing England in the 1948 Olympic games and a passion for working with wood Freddie took the first steps into handcrafting his own shoe care products. During the fifties the business flourished as they began to develop and patent their own products. By the late fifties, shoe care had become Dunkelman’s core business. As the company grew Freddie soon realised that the majority of his direct customers manufactured shoes within Northamptonshire. It was at this point that the company also known as Dasco the shoe care specialist relocated out of London and headed to Desborough in Northants to a purpose built factory.
Freddie Dunkelman retired from the business in 2007 and his sons and daughter continued to run the company until 2015 when Alma FRC took over. The family were delighted that Alma FRC, also a family-owned business with the same ethics that Dunkelman and Sons have had for the past 72 years, purchased the company. Alma FRC have been selling leather care and shoe accessories to both shoe retailers and shoe repairers for three generations and therefore understand the core values of quality, service and innovation.
Dunkelman & Sons (Dasco) are now part of a bigger group and sit under the Alma FRC Group umbrella alongside Saphir Medaille, Safir, Avel, Tarrago and recently purchased Debe a specialist Belgium insole manufacturer.
Alma FRC have been instrumental in sourcing a new purpose built building that will enable Dunkelman & Sons to continue to provide quality shoe care products as well as being able to offer the most complete range of shoe accessories in the world.
The self-funded investment is situated on a 3.3 acre site in Desborough and includes 41,000 sq.ft of offices, warehouse and production facilities as well as a dedicated showroom showcasing the vast range of products now available.
They continue to manufacture a selection of traditional shoe care products at the new Northamptonshire head office and supply direct to trade customers in the footwear and clothing industry. Dunkelman & Sons are proud of their heritage and boast that they have a very skilled team of wood workers on site. With this major investment Dunkelman & Sons are looking forward to the future as well as keeping alive traditional crafting methods.