OLDEST - Barber Shop in New Jersey
N 39° 53.773 W 075° 02.129
18S E 496966 N 4416239
Quick Description: On Kings Highway in Haddonfield, right near the High-Speed Line, sits the oldest barber shop in all of NJ, opened by the Caravelli family, who still live behind the shop. This shop is a contributing structure to the Haddonfield Historic District.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 7/7/2008 4:49:27 PM
Waymark Code: WM44ZA
Mike Fiore, a third generation barber, and friend of the Caravelli's, has owned and operated it since '99. "I welcomed the challenge of keeping the tradition going and building on it." Many years ago, Fiore learned barbering through an 18-month apprenticeship under a master barber and took a test in Trenton for haircutting and shaving.
On June 1st, 2002, the shop celebrated its 100th anniversary, giving out haircuts at 1902 prices - 25 cents a cut. Their regular prices are pretty good too. A haircut is 12 bucks, and seniors pay only $11. Fiore says that the shop's founder, Fred, was a Wharton grad who served in W.W.II as Eisenhower's attache'. He cut hair every day of his life; two New Jersey governors came to his shop. Fiore says, "It was the pleasure of his life."
Mike Fiore has another barber with him, Michael Grobman, affectionately called KGB. He's from Moscow, where he learned to be a barber and worked in an 18 chair shop, which had two shifts. On Saturdays, Mike Giampietro, who's been with the shop for over 30 years, comes to work in this 4 chair shop.
The shop's hours are from 7 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. and on Saturdays, the store opens incredibly early: 6 A.M.and closes at 4. "A lot of golfers come in on Saturday mornings before they go play. A lot of senior citizens get up early, come in to have a cup of coffee, read the paper and get a haircut. They'll be outside before 6 A.M., waiting for us. We get some businessmen too, early."
Fiore attributes the shop's longevity and success to a few factors. "We give traditional haircuts, shaves, razor cuts, facial massages, and there's an ambience that's appreciated by our clientele. In addition, we pride ourselves in mastering all the modern haircuts." The shop does have a certain ambience and respect for tradition. The cash register is the original used to open the shop in 1902; it only goes up to $1.90 and doesn't tally, but it sure is pretty. Rows of lather mugs are neatly displayed upon shelves, bearing the names of long-time clients.
Fiore sometimes cuts folks a break, even with the already low prices. Although it doesn't happen too often, sometimes he can tell that a customer is in dire straits. "If it's the first of the month and it's obvious the guy let his hair grow long and waited for his check before he could get a haircut, I consider that."
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