In today's fast-paced world, standing the test of time always commands respect. The family-run business of Vince Scalone Barber in Westfield Burwood is celebrating a hallmark 50 years at Westfield this October, an achievement entirely unique to the business. Opening along with the original Westfield Burwood centre in 1966, the Scalones believe the secret to their success is “good old-fashioned personal service – something Dad made a point of when he was around,” says Colleen Scalone.
Daughter of founder Vince Scalone, who passed away two years ago, Colleen now runs two branches of Vince Scalone Barber (a second branch is located in Bondi Junction Westfield), along with mother Christina, brother Michael, sister-in-law Lea, husband Nick, son Christian and countless loyal staff who act as extended family.
Somewhat of a Burwood community figurehead, “Vince made a point to speak with everyone,” Colleen says. “He would stop, say hello and shake hands with a smile, no matter who you were – no matter how old you were. The kids just loved him; we used to joke and say [it was] because the mentality was the same! But he just had a big, generous heart and was friendly to everyone.”
The family has enjoyed much success and countless memories of Westfield Burwood throughout the years, with rumours Vince even used to cut Westfield founder Frank Lowy's hair (more details on that later).
“Dad used to bring my brother and I to the shopping centre on school holidays. I remember watching Pirates of the Caribbean there and then visiting dad after the movie was finished and racing up to the donut man. He had the coolest donut-making machine in the window – we just used to sit there and watch the donuts get made. There are lots of old-world memories like this, the old style toy shop. These businesses were all around in those days. Now they have disappeared.”