CORNWALL, Ontario – Downtown’s own Josh Casselman is the 2016 entrepreneur of the year.
Casselman, owner of Kings and Little Ones on Pitt Street and a newly-minted member of the Downtown Business Improvement Area’s board of directors, was presented with the honour at the Cornwall and District Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards.
Casselman was humble in accepting the award, and said it was an incredible honour.
Kings and Little Ones features flat screen TVs at every chair, and headphones for customers to listen while they wait.
“We are a guy’s barber shop. A place made by guys, for guys,” says Casselman. “Hot towel shaves and quality haircuts in a guy environment. We do the little extras and all at a reasonable price.”
The shop is outfitted with a rustic decor with antique sporting equipment and custom wood counters made by Source Wood products. A key feature is the four old-school reclining barber chairs that weigh 300 pounds each. The chairs have been manufactured in North America by the Takara company since the 1950s.
“You can’t deliver a real barber experience with stylist chairs,” says Casselman “It just wouldn’t work.”
Casselman sought to offer an alternative to salons that are often geared towards women.
“Everything we do is focused on making guys feel comfortable,” says Casselman. “Somewhere over time, getting a haircut became an awkward experience. At our shop you won’t find hair curlers or NASA approved hair products. And instead of staring at posters of fashion forward cuts you can relax and watch SportsCentre.”
And while Casselman is looking after the “kings”, he has not forgot about the “little ones”. The shop has an alcove with tablets to keep children occupied as they wait for their turn in the big chair.
“We want every customer, big or small, to have a good experience.”
He has trained his staff in male-oriented barbering techniques that include hot towel shaves.
“Nothing emits manliness more than shaving your whiskers with a sharp piece of open steel,” says Casselman. “The devil is in the details and we aim to make every customer feel like a king. Whiskers come back, but growth takes longer to appear and along with a boost of confidence you leave with a face that is ‘Baby Butt Smooth’.”
“Downtown Cornwall has high foot traffic and a sense of community,” continues Casselman. “Match that with a highly visible location, ample parking and great landlords and it’s hard to find a reason not to invest in downtown Cornwall.”
Kings and Little Ones is located at 231 Pitt Street.
Other award winners included:
Team Cornwall Ambassador – Lars Ove-Harraldson
Above and Beyond – NAV Centre: Kim Coe-Turner, General Manager
Small Business of the Year – Rurban Brewery: Andy and Karen Rorabeck
Business of the Year – Laminacorr: Guy Robichaud, President
Tourism Excellence – Apples and Art Studio Tour
Economic Impact – Morbern Industries: Jacques St. Denis, President
Breakthrough – Shorty Jenkins Classic Curling Competition
Lifetime Business Achievement – Tom and Bill Kaneb
Citizen of the Year – Dr. Rachel Navaneelan