After 41 years fixing clogged or broken vacuum cleaners and getting sewing machines humming again, Wolfgang Heyn is closing The Vac Shoppe in Pueblo at the end of the month.
“The final nail in the coffin was COVID, which impacted many of my commercial accounts like restaurants, hotels and churches,” Heyn said. “I regret having to close, but for small businesses, the resulting exorbitant freight charges and supply chain hits have made it a real challenge to stay in business.”
When Heyn has tried to order supplies like vacuum bags or belts, “most of the stuff was on back order so I just couldn’t get it in,” he explained.
Heyn, 82, built a reputation in Pueblo as a dedicated, fast and consistent vacuum and sewing machine repairman, often getting jobs done by the next day.
“I pride myself on doing the job within 24 hours even if I have to stay until midnight to get it done,” Heyn told The Pueblo Chieftain.
He started the repair business in 1974. At the time, he and his wife Juanita ran four stores in Colorado City, Walsenburg, Trinidad and Raton. When the coal mines closed, they moved to Pueblo and opened the Vac Shoppe and Necchi Sewing Center in King’s Plaza at the corner of Northern and Prairie where Walgreens is today.
“I am the last man standing,” Heyn said.
Businesses fill the void
Hearing the news that The Vac Shoppe would close, Nathan Trujillo, owner of Kirby Company of Pueblo, said his business just started offering vacuum repair. The Kirby Company of Pueblo has been in business for 25 years.
“We were just handling Kirby, but now we are going to attempt to be servicing all brands of vacuums,” Trujillo said.
Their business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the business phone is 719-546-7878.
Heyn said the only Pueblo business still offering sewing machine repair is First Stitches on Eagleridge Blvd, the phone number for which is 719-225-8142.
The Vac Shoppe will remain open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until May 31, the store’s last day, Heyn said. The business’s phone number is 719-545-5561.
“I don’t have much to offer – there are no more vacuums and I hardly have any bags left, but I am selling my paintings for half-price and have some small appliances I am selling too,” he said.
“I want to thank all the folks who did business with me. I enjoy people and that’s what I will miss the most,” Heyn said.
This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Vacuum, sewing machine repair shop in Pueblo to close after 41 years