By Elle McLogan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – On Canal Street, a family business has been helping New Yorkers tackle a variety of problems for three generations. The solutions? Rubber and foam.

Homeowners, shopkeepers, builders, and artists find themselves at Canal Rubber Supply Co. Inc. for rare and custom-cut materials paired with expert guidance.

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Their needs range from the ordinary—such as noise cancellation and room ventilation—to the unexpected—like puppet building and jar opening.

In charge of the listening, counseling, cutting, and shipping are second-generation owner Marty Landsman and his son Matthew.

The lessons of the trade are oral history.

“We don’t have any lists anywhere. It’s like a secret language that twins speak,” Matthew said.

He appreciates the job’s particular challenges.

“I like that no two people coming in ever have the same set of questions, circumstances,” Matthew said. “You use different parts of your brain all the time.”

Employee Leon Ferrer also finds meaning in connecting with customers.

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“You get to interact and see what they’re doing, get a feel of, ‘What’s the temperature out there? What is everyone working on?'” he said.

An artist in addition to a rubber and foam specialist, Leon is still captivated after almost two decades on the job. He calls his surroundings “the aisles of inspiration.”

Little of the interior has changed since the shop’s founding.

“To come in here is like a time machine,” Leon said.

While similar businesses throughout Lower Manhattan have closed over the decades, Canal Rubber perseveres.

“I guess we’re just stubborn,” Marty said. “We like what we do.”

Canal Rubber Supply Co. Inc.
329 Canal St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-7339
https://www.canalrubber.com/

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Elle McLogan