Former Greensburg High School graduate Grant Sirois has opened a new barbershop on Main Street. From football to firefighting and onto barber college, the Old Town grad says returning home to start his own shop was too good to pass up.
Attending Hutchinson Community College on a football scholarship, the 2010 GHS grad decided to join the fire academy, but found it wasn't as “hands on” as he thought it was.
“I was talking to my father about the barber who was in this building, I guess she didn't stay and didn't make it,” said Sirois last week. “I saw an opportunity. There isn't a barbershop in the entire county right now. I thought 'what the heck, I'll try that.'”
Sirois has taken over Stan Adolph's former barbershop in the old Haviland Fruit Market building on North Main Street. Already equipped with a haircutting station and vintage barber chair, Sirois said the attraction to reopening the shop was personal and also financial.
“I thought I'd take it over for a little while and see where the road takes me,” he said. “Everything was already here so I didn't have to invest very much money. The barbering world in Wichita is so competitive. There are two barbering colleges there and all of the graduates are trying to start their own businesses. This was all just sitting here ready to go. It was sitting here vacant and no one was using it.”
The Yellow Pages has listings for 234 barbershops in the Wichita area.
Streams of graduates from the two area barber colleges, Old Town Barber College and 360 Barber College, are clamoring to cut hair for the nearly 385,000 residents of Kansas' biggest city. That equates to about 1,645 people per barber, a crowded market to say the least.
Sirois said Wichita was “a little bit of a culture shock,” for him and jumped at the chance to run his own shop in Kiowa County, renting the space from Gary Worden, the current owner.
“I think it's a good deal, of course we're in Haviland, so it's much cheaper than a place in Wichita,” said Sirois. “If you rent a space inside of a shop it will cost $100 to $120 a week in rent. My costs here are lower than that.”
The menu is simple, haircuts and straight razor shaves are $12 each (Sirois said it was $1 cheaper than his childhood barber charged). Asked why he would offer a straight razor service in the era of home shaving, Sirois said it was a specialty and a tradition.
“The thing about a straight razor, it takes as long as a haircut. Someone can get nearly the same thing in three minutes, at home, with a safety razor. It's a good service, but for some people it won't make sense money-wise.”
Page 2 of 2 - He's moved into a small house in Haviland and hopes local word of mouth through friends and people in the county will give him a good start.
“I went to school to do this,” he said. “I can give people what they want, not just whatever. If you think I did a good job, yeah, tip me and come back. But if you can't tip me, no problem, I know everyone is pretty tight right now. It is a professional service for a fair price. People can come in, get a haircut and get out of here, but they can also stick around and hang out if they want.”
The Haviland Barbershop is open Tues.-Fri. from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (Closed 12-1 from lunch) and 1 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday.