The history of Strassbergers
Strassbergers range of rugged, genuine leather shoes was born from necessity. In 1830 German Rhenish missionaries Baron Theobold Von Wurmb and Reverend Johann Gottlieb Leipoldt - a shoemaker by trade - founded the settlement of Wupperthal in the Tra-Tra Valley, deep in the heart of the Cederberg mountains. This remote outpost is about 75km away from Clanwilliam and is surrounded by beautiful mountains, but don't be fooled: the landscape is as harsh as it is breathtaking. Travellers and residents alike soon realised they needed shoes as tough as the terrain and in 1834 Leipoldt opened the Wupperthal shoe factory. The handmade genuine leather shoes grew in popularity amongst both the mobile 'trekboere' (Dutch and British colonists) was well as the resident population of the Cederberg - and the Strassbergers legend was born.
The factory continued to grow and 87 years after its founding, Reverand Willy Strassberger took the reigns. Over the next 30 years demand for the rugged leather shoes increased, but getting your hands on a pair was no simple task because of the remote location of the Wupperthal factory. In the early 1950's a decision was made to move the entire shoe making operation to the bustling business district of Clanwilliam, making access to the sought-after shoes so much easier. The new factory opened under the Strassbergers banner, whilst the Wupperthal operation continues to this day, albeit on a much smaller scale than the Clanwilliam factory.
As a family-owned business, Strassbergers is now in it's fourth generation. Willy Strassberger passed on the factory to his son Heinie, who then passed on the reigns to his son-in-law Hennie du Plessis. Hennie's son JJ took over at the factory in 2013.