HAMPDEN — Zach Martin, 20, of Swanville may be the one of the youngest, or the youngest, to own his own barbershop in Maine. He opened Zach’s Barber on Dec. 21 at 38 Main Road North.
No one can quite recall the last time Hampden had a barbershop, though most remember that it was called Maurice’s and was located at the corner of Main Road South and Kennebec Road. What is certain is that Zach’s Barbershop is filling a niche in Hampden that has been empty for a number of years.
“The response has been better than I expected,” Martin said. “I’m still building clientele.” So far, he has clients from Winterport, Hampden, Frankfort, Bangor, and Newburgh, but he expects that geographic range to expand as word of his new barbershop gets out.
The shop, filled with natural light, contains the familiar odor of bay rum so synonymous with a traditional barbershop. Several photos of Martin and his buddies on a moose hunt adorn one wall. He keeps the tools of his trade in a bright red Craftsman chest of drawers of the type usually associated with car mechanics. “I wanted it to be a place where guys would want to go and bring their sons,” he said.
Martin’s guitar, leaning against one wall, is also a fixture in the barbershop. In the lulls between customers, he practices his playing. “I have been a worship leader at Winterport Baptist Church for six years,” he said.
When he graduated in 2012 from Calvary Chapel Christian School in Orrington, he had a plan. “I knew I didn’t want to go to a four-year college,” he said. “I wanted to start work right out of high school. I also wanted to do something that would work for a family. Family is very important to me.”
Martin is a graduate of the barbering course at Capilo Institute in Augusta, which requires 800 hours of study over the course of eight months. Though he is fully trained in all aspects of barbering, he offers only haircuts and neck and beard trims, though other services, such as shaves, may be offered as his business grows.
Setting up the new business was fairly straightforward, Martin said. “The building was in good shape, and all I had to do was install a sink. I just had to move in and set things up.”
Already Martin has made himself a caring member of the Hampden business community. On Feb. 1 he held a fundraiser at the barbershop to benefit the Hart family whose house, less than a half-mile up the road from Zach’s Barbershop, was heavily damaged by fire. “We raised $373 for the family,” Martin said.
The barbershop, said Harry Schacht, owner of Schacht’s Hardware in Hampden, is a great asset to the town. “It’s something we need, it’s part of the community.”
Customer Tyler Norris of Hampden, who was getting a buzz cut, agreed. “It’s very convenient,” he said, noting that he liked the price point of $13 for a regular haircut.
“Veterans and active military servicemen receive a $2 discount,” Martin said.
Martin already has future plans for the barbershop. After his wife of six months, Tatiana Martin, graduates in March from cosmetology school, she will open a salon in the room behind the barbershop. As yet no name has been chosen for the salon.
Martin, who said he used to cut his own hair with clippers when he was a teenager, couldn’t be happier with the barbering profession. “It’s fun. I like meeting people and hearing their stories,” he said.
Zach’s Barbershop hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday. The business is closed Sunday and Monday. For information, call 323-5738.