Editor’s note: This is Mike Corwin’s final column. It was written just before his death over Thanksgiving weekend.
When I was growing up, every town had at least one barbershop almost always denoted by the iconic revolving red, white and blue–striped pole. And what young boy doesn’t remember his visits? As I recall it, you settle into the highest of high chairs that makes you feel like royalty, and soon the sounds of scissors, clippers and razors fill your ears while your eyes turn to the sight of combs and grooming tools resting in the pool of blue Barbicide. You turn your head in awe to look at the gentleman next to you getting a full, straight-razor facial shave and wonder how he doesn’t get cut. Meanwhile, your barber takes his hand and turns your head, admonishing you to look straight forward. Just before your haircut is done you get that final personal-sized whisk broom of talcum powder across the back of your neck and you feel like a new person. Today, there are still many barbershops in existence, including Springfield-based Kris’s Family Barbershop, which has a slightly more modern take on the traditional shop and serves both genders, from the youngest of children to senior citizens. The business was founded in 2008 and is owned by the husband and wife team of Kris and Monica Yawnick. In February 2016, it relocated to 436 Morris Avenue.
The “family” atmosphere extends to the staff as well: Kris and Monica are joined by Michelle Iannuzzi, a longtime friend who has been with the team since 2012, and Gerry Balletti, better known as “Gerry from Naples,” who has been a Springfield barber for almost 50 years now and came out or retirement to join in with a part-time schedule.
The shop is decorated in the spirit of a yesteryear barbershop, but a tad more upscale from the shiny wooden floors to the wall hangings and an orderly display of haircare products. The prices are reasonable. For example, a standard haircut is $16; with wash $20. A standard buzz cut is $10; with shape-up it’s $16. And the signature “hot towel shave” is $15.
They have plenty of positive (mostly five-star) Yelp reviews with comments such as “Fantastic little place! Haircut and beard for $20. Michelle was very attentive to how I wanted my trim and kept the conversation flowing. This is a very friendly ‘everybody knows your name’ your kinda place!”
Congratulations to Kris’s Family Barbershop for all their success to date and for providing Springfield with a touch of Americana that every town should have. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page or just drop in and say hello to a fellow NJBIA member.
Kris’s Family Barbershop is just one of many thousands of organizations that comprise NJBIA’s membership, which is diverse with representation from an amazingly large and wide spectrum of fields, industries and professions.