For many years, men’s barber Cheri Bourdeau’s father has encouraged her to open her own shop. However, she always made a comfortable living working for others, including 17 years working for local legend Rocky Fraioli, better known locally just as “Rocky.”
Her 17 years at the popular barber shop, Rocky’s, was where Cheri began to gain a following – not an easy thing for a woman to do in the typically male dominated world of cutting men’s hair.
Cheri left Rocky’s nearly three years ago after Rocky, now in mid-70s, sold his ownership while still maintaining a part-time presence there himself.
However, a series of events has convinced Cheri that the time to heed her father’s advice is now, and thus “Cheri’s Barber Shop” is set to open its doors for the first time on Friday, Dec. 21, at 401 Boston Post Road, Milford, across the street from the Cone Zone and the Milford Police Station.
“It’s great to be back on the Post Road,” Cheri said this week, as her brother and nephew were visiting for a quick cut prior to opening.
In the meantime, she hopes to get the word out to her many clients that she’s taking the plunge on her own, and is effusive in the praise she gives to her own family members.
“My Uncle Paul Aurelia has helped back me financially and also helped me with putting the shop together,” Cheri said. “I really couldn’t have done it without him.
Her brother, Paul Bourdeau, has been a beacon of strength and help, too, she said. Pointing to the clean, newly painted walls of her shop, she noted, “My brother, myself and all my nephews and even my daughter all painted the shop in one day recently.”
The youthful helpers included Paul Bourdeau (the son), Thomas Novotny, Joey Novotny, Nicholas Bourdeau, and here daughter, Olivia McEwen.
She also cites her parents’ help, too. “My parents, Paul and Mary Ann Bourdeau, are a major part of me being able to do this because they will be taking Olivia to and from school, just like they have been doing for the past two years.
“Without their help, I would have to put her in day care, and what single-parent mother can afford to do that?”
Of course, she wouldn’t be able to even think of opening a business, especially one so competitive as men’s haircutting, if she wasn’t good at it.
So who says so?
No less than Rocky himself. “She’s a very, very good barber,” Rocky said. “She’s one of the best I know, male or female.”
High praise indeed.
Cheri’s Barber Shop is now open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call Cheri at: (203) 301-4999.