.Barb’s Barber Shop was recognized as the 2017 Business of the Year award winner, while Lori Standish received the Alan Goodenow Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to the Community. The awards were presented at the dinner meeting that installs directors, recaps the year, makes plans for the future, and allows the business community to network with both members and the public.
The business award was the first recognition presented Thursday evening. It was given to Barb Mucher, who owns the shop. Maddie Sherman works alongside Mucher at Barb’s.
As part of the recognition, Mucher’s cousin Heidi Hoffman wrote a letter that was read by Jack Marsh. He was the emcee of the dinner and serves as chamber treasurer.
The letter first detailed how Mucher asked Hoffman if she could do a job shadow in the spring of 1998. At that time, Hoffman had been working at Jake’s Barbershop in Perry.
“Of course I said ‘Yes’ and was elated that my cousin in high school attending the cosmetology program at BOCES might possibly follow in my footsteps in the world of barbering.”
And that she did.
A few months after Mucher graduated high school and earned her cosmetology license, Hoffman “passed the shears and clippers” on to Mucher, as she put it in her letter.
“Barb started working full-time at the fast-paced barber shop after a short training period working under myself and Jake (Jacuzzo),” Hoffman wrote. “She handled the business and customers with grace and professionalism.”
That fall, Hoffman left the shop to focus on her family and Jacuzzo left for Florida, putting the business in the hands of Mucher.
“She continued to handle the business just as she had during her training,” the letter read. “For the next 10 years, Barb ran and grew the business under Jake’s watchful eye, even though he had fully retired. I daresay the customer base doubled in those 10 years; on any given day you could walk into the shop and there would be six or seven people in front of you.”
It was just over 10 years after Mucher took over when Hoffman picked the clippers and shears back up to join Mucher as a co-worker.
“In late December 2008, Barb needed surgery on her shoulder due to overuse in the barbering business,” Hoffman wrote. “The long hours and constant cutting had taken a toll on her. She called for reinforcements, asking if I could come back for a six-week period while she recovered from the shoulder surgery.
“I of course said ‘Yes.’ I would do anything for her.”
Following Mucher’s recovery, Hoffman decided to stay on part-time. Six years later, the duo moved the shop to their hometown of Warsaw. It would be called “Barb’s Barber Shop.”
“It was a scary step, but it needed to be done,” Hoffman wrote. “I knew she could do it, and customers would follow and be loyal. I mean let’s face it, men don’t like change. They like to walk in, sit in a chair and not have to say a word, all the while knowing they get the same haircut they want every time they sit down.”
The shop received a warm welcome from the Warsaw community. The opening week was a great success and Barb’s continues to thrive.
“Since the relocation of the business to Warsaw, Barb has continued to grow her business and customer base, yet again,” the beginning of Hoffman’s closing remarks read. “Her business has thrived due to her talent, not only with cutting hair, but her ability to cater to customer’s wants and needs, always putting them first and foremost, even before her own needs or health.
“I regret that I am not able to be at the dinner tonight. However, I really want Barb to know that I am proud of her and what she has accomplished over the years, and I will always be there to support her and help her in any way. Moving to Warsaw was the best decision we ever made.”
While accepting the award, Mucher said she was honored to do so.
“I’d like to thank everyone, the Chamber of Commerce, my family, my cousin, of course,” she said. “And I look forward to serving the community for a very long time. It’s been wonderful here.” 

Published by: Warsaw’s Country Courier