Snoqualmie may have lost longtime barber, Jerry Main, in September, but his barbershop is living on with a new owner. This fall, Janna Filippi purchased the historic shop from Jerry’s wife, Sue, thus continuing an 80 year Snoqualmie barbershop tradition.
New owner, Janna, says the original Snoqualmie barbershop was located in Meadowbrook, a few blocks away. Then in 1928 the shop relocated to its current (and longtime) Railroad Ave location. The recent ownership change makes Janna the 4th Snoqualmie barber to welcome patrons through its historic doors. Talk to longtime residents and they probably can’t remember Snoqualmie without the small, iconic barbershop as part of the landscape.
In fact, Janna tells me, the building’s owners even have a connection to the barbershop business. They are family members of the first Snoqualmie barber, Gus . When they purchased the building, the couple made a pact that it would always be home to a barbershop, and that the rent would be affordable so that could be a reality. Janna says the building owners are amazing, pointing out that in the 13 years of Jerry owning the shop, he never had a lease - and he purchased the shop with a handshake. It was a small town landlord/tenant relationship based on trust.
Janna is a hometown Valley girl. She was born and raised in Fall City, attended Mount Si High School and graduated from Two Rivers. She and two friends participated in the occupational education program at Two Rivers where they commuted out of the Valley for hair cutting classes/training as part of their high school coursework.
She says she sat on her hair cutting license for a while before she started barbering at Weldon’s in Issaquah about 5 years ago. There’s a “familiarity factor” with Janna for lots of the shop’s longtime customers, too. Many were already regular customers of Janna’s from her 10 years as a Twede’s waitress in North Bend.
When I got a chance to stop in and chat with Janna, I told her of the “small town chatter” I’d heard about Jerry wanting her to take over the shop when he was ready to retire. She quickly stopped me and said actually, it was the other way around. She was the one who bugged Jerry about letting her buy the shop when he was ready to put down his clippers.
She said she just never imagined buying the shop for any reason other than Jerry’s retirement. But in September, after a call from his sons, Janna began subbing at the barbershop while Jerry was in the hospital; helping to keep the business going until he recovered. Three weeks later, Snoqualmie lost its barber, friend and longtime resident, Jerry Main.
Janna officially purchased the business in October. It might look a little different, but still feels familiar. The stuffed wildlife on the walls and one antique barber chair made it to Jerry’s sons’ own successful barbershops in Eastern Washington. And hanging on the wall by the front door, as if to greet you, is a framed photo of Jerry Main. The Snoqualmie barbershop tradition continues, now run by someone who knew Jerry - and someone who really wanted to own it.
Janna says she can do all sorts of “guy haircuts.” She may be a barber who does mostly “buzz cuts,” but she’s experienced in all types of popular men haircuts. Yes, moms of tweens and teen sons, she can do the longer, “Bieber” type hairdos. She says she’s accustomed to those longer styles from her hair cutting days in Issaquah. So even though Jerry had a strict “above the ear” policy, it’s been relaxed a bit now as Janna infuses the shop with some of herself.
The Snoqualmie barbershop is open Tuesday – Saturday at 9:30AM. Haircuts run $12 – $15, depending on age. Saturday, all haircuts are $15. There are no appointments, but the average cut doesn’t take that long in a barbershop.
Stop by and enjoy the history of Snoqualmie barbering , which has been around almost as long as the town itself. Good Luck, Janna!