Nestled between Davis Square and Teele Square, Somerville’s 968 The Shop is a barber shop that first opened its doors in 1983. We caught up with Larry Travaglione Jr., who helped rebrand his father’s business in 2012. His pride for Somerville is deep, his haircuts are impeccable, and his recommendations for local pizza shops are noteworthy.
1. What’s the story behind 968 The Shop? How did it begin?
968 The Shop opened in 1983 by my father Larry Travaglione. In 2012, I re-branded the business. We decided that it was time to give the place a change in style and we’ve done great ever since.
2. What is it about Somerville that makes it so great?
My family has lived in Somerville for three generations. We’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the changes that have taken place in the area. We see both aspects of Somerville – as lifelong residents and business owners. So to me I think it’s the traditions of the city that make it great: the close-knit neighborhoods, the families who’ve lived here for generations, the schools and recreation department. I also now can appreciate the changes that have taken place in Davis Square, Magoun Square, East Somerville and Assembly Row as well as future projects that will really uplift small businesses.
3. What’s the best part about owning your own business?
For me it’s all about pride. There’s more to this city than currently meets the eye. Although giving the city a major facelift has done wonders and changed how a lot of people view Somerville, it’s important for me to be able to represent Somerville’s roots . There are a lot of new faces in Somerville and I take it as my responsibility to represent our past and familiarize the new wave of people to places and things that made Somerville what it is today.
4. How do you develop relationships with your customers?
We make it a point to try and connect with each customer personally. We’re tech savvy here, but conversation beats scrolling through your iPhone any day. Booking appointments allows for clients to choose their barber and develop a pattern and trust. We pride ourselves on being a place where you can really enjoy yourself and know you’re going to walk out with the best haircut you’ve ever gotten from a staff that really strives to deliver.
5. What other Somerville businesses do you enjoy visiting?
We’re frequent visitors of the local Somerville pizza shops: Angelina’s, Mike’s, Victor’s Deli and Pini’s Pizzeria. It is always a good time to pop into Union Square or to grab some steak tips at The Pub.
If you’re looking for a new haircut, or maybe a simple shave, swing by 968 The Shop in Somerville (968 Broadway).