Business is booming at 1949 Barber Shop, where staff gel with their community
Since March, the small shop in Rabbitown has grown its staff and laid roots in St. John's
Nestled into one of oldest working-class neighbourhoods in St. John's, 1949 Barber Shop has cut in front of the competition as one of the city's go-to barber shops.
Since March, the owners say they've added more chairs to the floor, and sales have skyrocketed with clients from all over the world — they've got the push-pin-dotted map to prove it.
"Every single day we have new people coming in from different countries, with different language," said co-owner Yaw Antwi-Adjei, who hails from Ghana and is a graduate student in philosophy at Memorial University.
The small shop, located on Mayor Avenue in Rabbitown, offers international flair with high-profile clients, including basketball players from the St. John's Edge.
"Business has just taken a new turn. We keep getting so busy," Antwi-Adjei said.
"We have five barbers working, and everything is OK."
The shop doubles as sort of a hangout, according to co-owner Gustavo Valoyes who moved from Colombia to Canada in 2003.
If there's a soccer match on television, people will walk in off the street just to talk, without an appointment.
"I know all my customers, we watch football, we argue about everything here," he joked.
"That's one of the good parts."
Adding local flair
1949 has even added a local barber, Kieran Driscoll, further adding to the melting pot formula that has garnered the shop so much attention.
"This was actually my community barber shop," Driscoll said.
"I approached Yaw and Gustavo about starting here as an apprentice. I guess I've always wanted to do something creative, and the guys have taken me under their wing and literally taught me everything I know."
Antwi-Adjei jokes that Driscoll is the only white guy that can properly cut "afro hair" the way they want.
"He's so good. So good. You don't beat it."
With files from Here & Now