Melissa “Mel” DeLuca Rivera, and her husband and business partner Jose Rivera, are professional barbers at their locally owned and operated Mel’s Old City Barbershop at 2116 Gulf Gate Drive in Sarasota, Fla. They opened the shop more than a year ago after a family vacation in Siesta Key and determined the market area was ready for a new, highly specialized, and customized service barber shop. Mel Rivera is a licensed cosmetologist and barber, and Jose is a licensed barber. They are trained in all facets of men’s hair care to use a straight razor while creating current and fresh designs and fades, and traditional gentlemen’s haircuts and shaves on the head, face, and neck along with color styles. To receive a Florida barber license, the Rivera’s each completed 1,200 school hours and passed a highly specialized accrediting exam.
According to Mel Rivera, she and Jose are currently seeking a licensed nail technician to take care of their male clients who are requesting expanded services in nail care, manicures, and pedicures. “Our customers range from older children to young, hip professionals, to stylish older men who want a friendly neighborhood, small shop environment that’s convenient to Sarasota and the surrounding communities,” she said. “Now, we’re ready to offer more services due to our success here and customers who want more amenities in our shop.”
With five years in business, the Rivera’s original shop in St. Augustine, Fla. is flourishing with several barbers as Mel’s Old City Barbershop at 1797 Old Moultrie Road.
Mel Rivera, 38 years old, was born and raised in Ocala, Fla., and lived throughout the state and in Hawaii while in the dental profession. She decided on a career in men’s hair care and opened the St. Augustine business. She met Jose when she hired him to work in the St. Augustine barber shop more than five years ago. Mel and Jose were married in 2019 and have a new baby. The Rivera’s chose to live in Sarasota and raise their family there while growing the two businesses.
Jose Rivera, 44 years old, was born and raised in Puerto Rico and traveled to Florida as a young boy with his mother and brother. His brother was enrolled in the renowned, Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine. Since Jose was 13 years old, he cut hair for friends and family to raise money for his mother and brother and discovered his natural abilities for hair cutting and current designs. Later as an adult, he became a licensed barber.
The two Rivera-owned and operated barbershops each feature 1,000 square feet of space with private, customer service areas and traditional barber chairs, sinks, equipment, methods, and technologies along with a specialization in hot lather shaves and hot towel treatments, chair massages, and a complimentary coffee bar.
The company motto, Hot Shaves & Fresh Fades, follows the business’s benefits including moderately priced services with cut and style priced at $30, beard trim and cut priced at $40, beard trim with straight razor priced at $25, traditional hot shave and cut priced at $50, hot lather and shave priced at $30, and a young man’s cut and style under 12 years old is priced at $25. Military and first responder personnel, and senior men over 65 years old receive $5 off for each service.
“We cater to all ages, so dads and sons can come on in and join us for an old-fashioned barbershop experience, and more,” said Jose Rivera. For more information, call 904.415.9700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at https://melsoldcitybarbershop.com.