by Storie Serres
Nestled at the back of an industrial building just off Mulock Drive in Newmarket, ON is a small skate sharpening and retail store that you could easily miss if not looking carefully. But from the moment you walk inside, it’s apparent this is no ordinary place. And whether you’re a new customer or have been stopping by for years, you can guarantee you’ll be greeted with a smile and a friendly “Hello!”
The Skater’s Performance is a hub of activity and isn’t your typical skate sharpening shop. Owners Randy and Peggy Highmore opened the shop in 2007 and it has grown from a tiny hole-in-the-wall with one sharpener to a space four times its original size. It now boasts a skate dropbox for late-night skaters and anyone else who couldn’t make it in during business hours.
An engineer by trade, Randy takes a scientific approach to everything from profiling and sharpening skates, to the design and construction of his machinery. After spending just a few minutes in the store, it's evident this is a perfectly balanced operation that keeps the shop running smoothly.
Likely the most unique aspect of the store is the aforementioned dropbox. Picture a VHS/DVD movie rental dropbox (if you remember those), except for skates. You enter the room via a passcode, fill out a form with details about your skates, drop everything into a tote bag (made by Peggy's mother), and then place them in the mail box. Randy and Peggy arrive at the store an hour before opening every day to get started on the skates left overnight so they're ready to pick up first thing in the morning.
For busy families, late night skaters, and even a few profs, the dropbox is a saviour.
Whether you're a pro or a novice, all skates and customers are treated equal. Randy, Peggy and their staff make a point to pay attention to every detail, and what a difference a pair of properly profiled skates can make. But it's not just how your skates turn out that keeps people coming back, it's that after one visit, your're part of the family.
The Skater's Performance is an important part of the hockey community in Newmarket; energizing and encouraging players of all ages.
Like Larry Orr in Victoria, whose skate sharpening business was as much about skate sharpening as it was about supporting local hockey players. Randy, Peggy, and their staff are not only sharpening skates, but creating connections, memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Visit The Skater's Performance at 200 Mulock Drive, Unit 19, Newmarket, ON.