A Barbershop like No Other, Around Every Corner
Typically, when men find a barber or shop they like, they tend to follow them around wherever they may move but Greg Westlake wants to change that.
“I would like to get to a point where you can travel and you just see our shopfront and you know you are going to get a quality cut and you know exactly what services [we] offer”. Westlake is the currently owner of three Taylor and Colt Barberspa locations, one at Royal Bank Plaza and the others at Simcoe Place and the Promenade Mall.
Over the next month, Westlake's prime downtown Taylor and Colt locations will roll out a membership service where clients can pay an annual fee and enjoy unlimited cuts, manicures, beverages and hot-towel service throughout the year. Additional services such as waxing, hair colouring, pedicures, straight blade shaves or a full-blown beard line will be on top of the annual fee.
“Guys typically come [to the barbershop] to get away and relax. Leave your wallet at the office and come in for unlimited services, get that private club feeling, have a drink,” says Manager Jodi Cohen. “When you go into some barbershops, you don’t get that man cave feel. It’s so important for men to have a place to go.”
Molding themselves to the client’s day is a cornerstone of Westlake's business. “If you are at front and Simcoe, come here,” says Westlake. “But if you have a meeting over at Bay and Front, you don’t need to come here, you can go there.” While they do accept walk-ins, they have to be very strict about maintaining their appointment schedule as they deal with busy executives and CEOs on a daily basis, so they often will have to turn people away.
Westlake is also very particular about the staff he hires. His staff has to be skilled in techniques for all kinds of hair including all ethnicities, textures and lengths. “It’s all so different It’s not a weird thing to talk about, it’s just the facts of life. Sometimes it’s hard finding new staff but that’s just because we’re so picky. We just want good barbers. That’s all we care about.”
The barbers also have to be the right personality type. "From the minute you walk in to the minute you walk out, it’s like coming home to a family,” says Cohen. “One of our barbers, Majid, has a client who lives in Newmarket who comes all the way downtown just for Majid. It goes to show the level of quality service that we are putting out.”