Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Moose Lake welcomes Mel's Cuts


Lois E. Johnson

Melissa Anderson of Mel's Cuts puts the finishing touches on a haircut for Randy Booker of Moose Lake.

Five people were sitting, drinking coffee and visiting on a recent day in Mel's Cuts, the new shop where one can get a haircut, located in the former Robb's Barber Shop on Elm Avenue in Moose Lake.

"I just love that," said Mel, otherwise known as Melissa Anderson, owner of the new shop. "That's the kind of atmosphere that I want in my shop."

Anderson said she heard that Robb Anderson, no relation, was going to close his shop and retire, and she called him to get the name of the landlord.

"I told Robbie that I wanted to keep his legacy going," she said.

Once she had the landlord's name, she said she contacted him, rented the shop and then set about making changes. She opened the newly remodeled shop November 21.

It has a pleasant décor, including bricklike paneling lining the lower portion of the walls and white paint on the upper walls to brighten the room. A television sits high on the wall and the daily paper lies on a bench in front of the window. Red tool chests with black drawers are set on each side of the black shampoo sink under a large mirror and a tall red cabinet in the corner is topped with a model of a red Farmall tractor.

In another corner is a small black stand with a coffeemaker. Clients can hang their coats on hooks near the door. Laminated flooring covers the floor.

"The shop is cuter than Robbie had it," she explained. "Guys love the tool chests. But I want to serve everyone in the family - kids, too."

Anderson said she doesn't take appointments; clients can simply walk in, as they had at Robb's. But her prices are a bit higher. She told clients she had to raise the prices because she pays higher rent than Robb had to pay.

Men's haircuts are $10, women's haircuts are $14 and haircuts are $8 for children age 10 and under. There is a $4 charge for trimming beards. Anderson said she also does free maintenance trims for her clients who want to look nice for a special event, such as a wedding. Shampoos are no charge, if the customer desires a shampoo.

Anderson said she does haircuts only, no perms or other hair treatments.

"I've got 20 years of haircutting experience behind me," she said. "I worked with the best of the best. I taught haircutting for five of those years."

Anderson moved with her boyfriend, who owned land in the area, to his farm two years ago, she explained. He is a sales representative for Auto Value and was transferred to Moose Lake.

She worked in Cloquet in a salon until opening her new shop. This is the first place she has owned, she said.

"My boyfriend helped me remodel the shop," she said. "The Farmall tractor is his. I like Elvis, so I have some Elvis things in the shop and can play Elvis music."

The couple had lived in Prior Lake previously.

Anderson said she also works part-time at Mercy Hospital in the housekeeping department.

The customers are happy to see they can get haircuts there again.

"I happened to see the shop was open again," said a former customer of Robb's as he sat in the chair for a haircut. "I'll be back," he said when he left.

Other customers said they were very satisfied with their haircuts and they would also be back.

"I want this shop to be known as a warm shop in town, and not expensive," said Anderson. "I want this to be the kind of place where mothers can bring their children, and dads can bring their boys. This is a family shop."

Anderson's shop is open a variety of hours to be available at different times of the day. The shop is closed on Tuesdays.

The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays. The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month.


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