St Albans Barbers owners celebrate 20th anniversary
It seems that barely a week goes by without big chains announcing store and restaurant closures in St Albans, but one independent family business is still booming on its 20th anniversary.
St Albans Barbers on Catherine Street, run by Vincenzo and Carmelina Citrano, celebrated two decades of business last Friday.
Vince explained the secret to their success: “We are very consistent, well-priced, and very good.”
The businessman, who also performs an Elvis Presley tribute act at parties and weddings under the name of Elvince, learned his trade from an Italian barber in London Colney.
He then studied for a qualification from West Herts College in Watford, where he later taught.
He said: “I enjoy barbering and I enjoy the communication with customers, as we have some very old customers.
“We have had young children sitting on a little stool, who are now at university and still come here. I would like to say a big thank you to our customers for supporting us these 20 years.”
One of those customers, Peter Fletcher, said: “It’s a lovely environment to have your hair cut in and they are very friendly.”
Another regular, Eddie Battersby, said: “Vince is a magnificent barber and singer.”
Vince and Carmelina’s children Giuseppe and Maria also used to work in the shop and it has been the stage for a number of charity initiatives over the past 20 years, including one on behalf of the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund which saw Vince have his hair cut by a schoolboy, who still comes to have his own hair cut in the shop.
“We like the people in St Albans and the community,” Vince said. “And the entertaining helps a lot as it is linked to the barbering.”
He has previously performed for St Albans Band Aid, and made the papers when he was issued with a parking ticket while unloading his equipment for the charity gig, as well as singing at the Oxfam book store down the road from his shop to encourage people to donate vinyl records.
He and fellow Elvis impersonator Martyn Dias gave an impromptu performance of The King’s hits to lift the spirits of motorists stuck on the M1 in a gridlock in 2009.