The mall is not the first place you would think of to go for a haircut - unless you know about Empire Barbershop. Empire has been an elevating factor for shoppers of Sunvalley Shopping Center and has helped other stores thrive over the past four years with their overflow traffic. Overall, it is the classic style and welcoming atmosphere that keeps customers coming back.
Derick spent several years as a traveling barber for big names in the NBA, but he dreamt of opening his own barbershop when the timing was right. He grew up in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan where his barbers were always an old school Italian. Derick looked forward to going to the barbershop with it's soft leather chairs, subway tiles and marble countertops.
When you walk into Empire, you feel the nostalgia. Sconces with the "Empire" logo frame the mirrors in an homage to the New York streets he grew up on. The chairs are the same model he grew up getting his hair cut in, refurbished and classically styled. While the thoughtful decor and barbers dressed in crisp, classic wardrobe is impactful, the draw as a customer comes from the friendliness and talent of the staff.
Derick opened his barbershop with the intention of hiring young men with character and determination, knowing that with time and investment the talent would follow. Now, with 12 full time barbers, his investment is resulting in an overwhelming success. Empire Barbershop was built one haircut at a time, building relationships with the community and in the staff.
Each barber is encouraged to be involved in their community, including two days giving cuts to the deserving Veterans at the VA in Martinez. Derick and his team have become a community staple. It's business owners like him that dream big and make Pleasant Hill a great place to own a business.