Bert & Bert Barbers
Bert & Bert Barbers feels like an established part of the Altrincham scene but, in fact, it is only two years since Rob Ryder opened his business on Oxford Road. The business’s great reputation is obvious from posts on his twitter feed @BERTandBERT the best barbers around !!!’is typical.
The ambience in the shop is relaxed with its reggae soundtrack and the drone of the shaver, the snip of the scissors. The décor is very industrial chic from the pared down furnishings and wooden floors to the workmanlike leather and denim aprons worn by Rob and the other barbers. Bert & Bert is all about customer service and the laid back vibe of the shop belies Rob’s amazing work ethic. The official opening time is 7am but 5.30am starts are not unknown as Rob is always willing to open for early birds. Rob’s personality and his interest in design are really part of the Bert & Bert brand and are in evidence everywhere. The magazine rack boasts an eclectic range from Tractor through cycling magazines to Ferment – more on the subject of brewing later. There is even a scooter in the window and an elegant bicycle leaning against the wall. Rob is passionate about the aesthetics of two wheels and he’s right - these bikes are things of beauty. Tractors are another passion - if he could fit some agricultural machinery in the place he probably would!
Bert & Bert Barbers is about so much more than a haircut. Rob and his team offer a range of grooming services including beard and moustache grooming and wet shaves. The shop also offers Indian Head Massage and Sports Massage and will be introducing a waxing salon soon. Facial hair is a bit of a specialty of the house and So-Altrincham decided to check on the current trends. According to Rob, beards are definitely still ‘a thing’ but are now less Old Testament bushy than smaller and more shaped.
Rob is a big fan of Altrincham, of course. He has seen a lot of positive changes in the relatively short time that he has been based here and is excited about the way that the town supports so many independent businesses.
Bert & Bert makes its own contribution to the local independent economy in some of the choices that Rob makes. For example, the only beard oil that the barbers use on their own clients is the argan-oil based Beard Oil made by Altrincham’s own Cocoon Therapies www.cocoontherapies.co.uk - ‘I bore people to death about it – I can’t speak highly enough of it’ Rob says. Bert & Bert also showcases the work of Manchester leather artisan and Altrincham market regular, Edward de Lacey www.delacyonline.com, who will also be making their new aprons.
The Bert & Bert Indian Pale Ale that is offered to customers as an alternative to tea or coffee is brewed by the Runaway Brewery in Manchester www.therunawaybrewery.com. When Bert & Bert first opened, Rob’s mate Matt brewed the beer in the cellar. Unfortunately, the smell of the brewing hops seeped through the cellar walls, interfering with the aromatherapy facials going on at the spa next door and so the brewing had to be outsourced!
Rob has created an amazing brand in a very short time and has plans to develop and share his successful mix of excellent barbering, customer service and business acumen. He intends to open a Bert & Bert Academy upstairs, offering accredited courses in barbering and business. Successful graduates of the courses will be in a position to open their own salons but the cream of the crop will be offered the opportunity to buy a Bert & Bert franchise. Altrincham is only the start!