First look at new Ipswich salon, Primo Hair Lounge
- Credit: Archant
After years of talking about it, Ipswich pals Pasquale Iachetta and Glaudio Di Franco have launched their own salon, Primo Hair Lounge.
The business partners, who have been friends for more than 20 years, have converted the former Cakes Supreme premises in Tacket Street and opened it as their stylish combined barber shop and ladies hairdressers.
Glaudio Di Franco, who styles and cuts women's hair, said: "We have talked about this for quite a few years but the timing was not quite right.
"We happened to walk past here. We said this was an up-and-coming street. This is really becoming a good location.
"We have beautiful views of the churches and also car parks nearby.
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"We thought, if we don't do it now we will never do it.
"We are family men and we want to do it for our families.
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"This is the first time a barbers shop and ladies hairdressers has collaborated together. So we had to get it right for both men and women.
"We have gone for a rustic, industrial feel here. So far it has worked out brilliantly.
"Everybody who comes in loves it.
"It has been a lot of hard work over the past two months, but we have had a lot of help from family and friends. My cousin Daniela Cracknell did the graphics for example.
"It has taken a lot of hours.
"We had to raise the floor four inches and put in new ceilings.
"It has been really hard graft but we think it is absolutely perfect. Primo is also Italian for first."
Pasquale Iachetta added: "We have done it all ourselves, apart from the plastering.
"Friends and family have helped us, but we got there. This is our third week open.
"We always wanted to be in the town centre, 100%,
"I think it is important for people to invest in the town. Small businesses are opening up all the time. I support them and we all have to support each other. This is a great area with new businesses opening."
The friends met years ago at Ipswich Italian community social events and became pals, despite being from opposite sides of town.
Now they live close to each other, and can share a car to work.
Their parents were part of a wave of Italians who moved to the town in the 1960s and 1970s, to work within industry.
There were regular Italian community social gatherings at Cranes for many years.
Many new arrivals also went on to run their owner businesses.
Now the first generation of Ipswich-born children are doing the same.