When Gianluca Prigione was a teenager, he was sweeping the floors at Freddy's Barbershop and Hairstyling as a summer job.
Now, he is a full-time barber at the same shop and will be the new owner of the business come August.
“It’s definitely kind of a surreal thing,” says Prigione about his new role. “If you had told me at 14 that I would be owning this place one day, I probably wouldn't have believed you."
Recently, Freddy’s Barber Shop and Hair Styling announced the change in ownership will happen on August 1. The decision comes after one of the three original owners of Freddy’s Hair Styling, Ed Veri, announced his retirement earlier this year.
The announcement also mentioned the business will be splitting its services into two different organizations, Freddy’s Hair Styling and Freddy’s Barber Shop. Both businesses will continue to operate out of the historic Bullfrog Inn on Eramosa Road. The full announcement can be seen here.
Prigione explains the decision to split would make it easier for each businesses to handle its own customers and operations. Freddy’s Hair Styling will be run by Deanna Veri, daughter of Freddy Veri, who first owned the business.
"It kind of simplifies everything and makes it a lot easier than running both businesses," he says.
With the shutdowns, Prigione mentions he has only been at the Freddy's for a year.
“It happened kind of fast, but there's never a better time than right now,” he says about acquiring the business.
"It's definitely kind of like an honour to take it on and put my stamp on it too, it's exciting."
Excitement aside, Prigione says it’s important that customers know the things they love about Freddy’s Barbershop will still remain the same.
“I'm trying to be very clear with that they're not going to get too much of a change or shock," says Prigione, who mentions the very first customer of Freddy’s still comes to the shop, "We still appreciate their business, and we look forward to having them for as long as we can."
While the shop is still offering classic and modern styles that long-time customers love, there are some new features being added to the business. These new services include online bookings, the option to pay with debit or credit and a student discount, which is two dollars off.
“It’s just to kind of help the young people out,” says Prigione about the student discounts, “They normally have a minimum wage job and have to pay off tuition."
For the time being, no special events have been planned yet to celebrate the launch of Freddy’s Barbershop, but the Prigione mentions staff are excited to be open again. He adds they're gotten a lot of support from returning customers and new customers.
“Excited to get things going and keep true to what Freddy envisioned."