published Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Small Biz: Barber shop offers old-time services

Barber Merrit Potter trims Ezequiel Garcia's hair at his barber shop on Dayton Boulevard. He has been cutting hair since 1962 and has recently expanded his White Oak Barber Shop to a second location on Lee Highway.
Barber Merrit Potter trims Ezequiel Garcia's hair at his barber shop on Dayton Boulevard. He has been cutting hair since 1962 and has recently expanded his White Oak Barber Shop to a second location on Lee Highway.
Photo by Jay Bailey.

Name: White Oak Barber Shop

Owner: Merritt Potter

Locations: 2244 Dayton Boulevard and 7510 Lee Highway

Opened: Lee Highway held a grand opening Jan. 30

Service: This old-time barber shop offers shaves and haircuts for men

Prices: Shave and haircut: $45; shave alone: $30; haircut alone: $18

Staff: 8

How it got started: After owning the Dayton Boulevard location since 2006, Potter realized there was a need for an upscale barber shop on the other side of town. Because one of his barbers lives in Ooltewah and there was a strong market in the area, he decided it would be a good location for his business to expand.

Initial investment: $55,000

Sales goal: To beat the previous month's sales

Five-year goal: To increase the number of barbers at the Lee Highway location from three to five

History: The first White Oak Barber Shop opened on Dayton Boulevard in 1932 and Potter bought it in 2006. Potter worked as a ship's barber in the Navy during the early 1960s, then worked in a salon during the 1970s and '80s. Now he serves as the master barber at White Oak Barber Shop.

"It just feels great to be back in a barber shop again," he said. "I feel like I've come back to my roots."

Why he stays at the chair: "I love the instant gratification," he said. "The customer is happy and it makes you feel good. The franchises have a cookie cutter fast food approach, but the methods we use have been passed down for hundreds of years."

Website: www.whiteoakbarbershop.com

Phone number: 423-875-4224, Dayton; 423-521-8263, Lee Highway

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury joined the Times Free Press as a business reporter in January 2013, after starting with the paper as a general assignment intern in July 2012. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint Hill Times. Outside the newsroom, Shelly enjoys ...

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