Moore still cuts after 60 – The Stanly News & Press

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When you walk into Jeff’s Barber Shop on North First Street in Albemarle, don’t expect to find a front desk, an appointment calendar, or multiple barbers waiting for you in well-spaced booths.

That’s not the kind of store that Jeff runs.

What you’ll find is a traditional barber shop with friendly service, which has operated much the same way since 1962…a store where a person can “get their hair cut and trade in horses too,” according to Jeff Moore, who on May 14 marked 60 consecutive years as a full-time barber in his hometown.

Moore, who turns 80 in October, adds that he has no plans to hang up the scissors anytime soon.

“I’ll go until I can’t go anymore,” he says, adding that the nature of the job requires members of the profession to often work past the normal retirement age.

“If I had gone to work at Alcoa or one of the textile factories, the pension would have been taken out of my salary,” he said. “But when you’re self-employed, it’s up to you to hand over the money, and that’s not always easy to do.”

Moore, whose first store was located in East Albemarle next to what was then the Dogwood Lanes Bowling Center, said haircuts at the time cost $1.

“I was making about $30 a week at the time,” he said. “Now I can earn more than that in 20 minutes if I have clients.”

Ken Caudle receives a trim from Jeff Moore, who has operated Jeff’s Barber Shop for 60 years in Albemarle. (Photo by TOBY THORPE)

After 20 years next to the bowling center, Moore moved to another location – almost directly across the street, where he remained for the next 15 years before moving to his current location at 949 N. First St.

Unfortunately, according to Moore, brick-and-mortar stores like his no longer attract the volume of business they once did.

“The ‘salon chains’ are taking some of our business out of business,” he said, “and some of my long-time clients have died.”

Moore’s business model is very different from those of more modern hair salons. No appointment is required (or made) and payment is only accepted in cash. His shop, lined with photos and souvenirs, almost looks like a museum.

“My wife says I have to clean up the place, but a lot of people come for the pictures,” he said, pointing to a large, professionally shot photo of Moore with “The Rat Pack” (Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra).

When asked when he was caught, however, he confessed to having screwed up.

“It’s a fake,” he admitted.

Moore has stuck to what has worked for him over the years. For example, some of his workshop equipment has been with him since day one.

“My air compressor is the same one I had when I started in 1962,” he says, “and my barber chair is over 50 years old.”

Reliability has been a Moore trademark over the years. When he says he’s going to be open, he’s open.

“I’ve only taken two full weeks off in 60 years,” he said, citing a Las Vegas vacation as one of those moments.

When asked if he’s cut celebrity hair, Moore picked a well-known local celebrity…former Albemarle Mayor “Whit” Whitley.

“You know, he would never let me trim his bushy eyebrows,” Moore laughed.

While he continues to provide haircuts to loyal customers – many of whom are veterans and have a discount on Wednesdays – the longtime barber still loves his job.

“I had a good life doing this, and I enjoyed it,” he said, adding that he hopes to be able to continue for another 10 years.

“Maybe if I can go on for that long they’ll erect a monument to me,” he joked.

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