Stepping forward: the return of The Hartt Shoe Company

Posted on January 02, 2024 | By Derek Montague | 0 Comments


Beloved New Brunswick shoe company proudly steps out again, thanks to a marketer who knows the value of a strong legacy

Andrew Bedford, co-CEO of The Ginger Agency, liked The Hartt Shoe Company story so much, he bought the rights to the name and relaunched the company. (Submitted photo)


The Hartt Shoe Company opened its factory in the late 1890s and didn’t close until a century later during the turn of the new millennium. Even then, the large Victorian-looking factory remained a famous Fredericton landmark. But 17 years after Hartt put its feet up (supposedly for good), a young entrepreneur has them pounding the pavement again.

Andrew Bedford—co-CEO of The Ginger Agency and now owner of Hartt Shoe—fell in love with the brand back in 2015. At the time, Bedford was part of a Facebook group where users shared historical photographs. One of those images changed his life. “There was a gentleman who shared a photo of his Hartt winter boots, and he told the story of how he wore those boots every day of winter for 40 straight years,” recalls Bedford.

The story automatically clicked with the seasoned marketer. He knew that a company with that kind of history, with fans who were still passionate about its products almost two decades after they’d stopped being produced, would connect with people across the country.

“Branding, marketing and making that kind of connection with people is just in my DNA,” Bedford said.


Interior of Hartt’s new Fredericton retail location. (Submitted photo)


He bought the rights to The Hartt Shoe Company name and brand in 2016; the company officially relaunched a year later. The launch event itself was a reminder that Bedford and his team had a lot to live up to. Some attendees wore shoes to the event that the original York Street factory had produced decades before. And the shoes still looked like they belonged with a modern-day suit and tie.

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