Pierce McKoy: Spectacular Shine
Over 53 years. Thousands of shoes. This man is a community staple.
A Durham native, Pierce has been shining shoes for over 53 years, and it's a family business he learned from his father. You can find his setup outside of Beyú Caffè on a beautiful day, and tucked away by a staircase beyond the tables and chairs when it's rainy. "Over 80 pairs in one day," Pierce says of his busiest shift — but after hundreds (maybe thousands!) or clients in his chair, he wouldn't trade it for the world.
“I grew up in Durham, and I’ve been shining shoes for over 53 years. You’ve gotta believe in the good, always. The way people treated each other then? They helped each other. Durham has a knack for growing different people into it. I’d describe Durham as being ‘on the rise.’"
Pierce beckons everyone into his chair; it's a conduit for relationships.
"You want to know what the key is to experiencing Durham? Meet somebody.”
Pierce McKoy was interviewed and photographed with his shoe shine stand at Beyú Caffè in downtown Durham.