Almanac

Community - June 1, 2011

Business: Great Clips salon opens in Menlo Park

by Caitlin Moyles

A new Great Clips salon opened Saturday, May 28, at Sharon Heights Shopping Center in Menlo Park. Located behind Starbucks, it offers "value-priced haircuts" for men, women, and children on a first-come, first-served basis, according to Ray Solnik, who holds the Menlo Park franchise from this national chain.

The salon celebrated its grand opening Saturday with a $4.99 haircut special that will be offered for about a week, he said.

A Stanford alumnus, Mr. Solnik is president of Buena Vista Consumer Brands LLC, which also holds a Great Clips franchise in Sunnyvale that opened in November.

"I've been in the technology industry for 15 years, and after running my last high-tech company, I decided to investigate some alternatives," Mr. Solnik said.

He chose Great Clips, he said, because it's adding about 150 stores a year and seemed like a solid business opportunity.

The 1,000-square-foot salon in Menlo Park has six cutting chairs and two flex stations that are designed for rinses and shampoos but can be converted to cutting stations.

Mr. Solnik said he had been talking to the management company that represents the shopping center for two years because they wanted to make sure Gary Mitome, a barber who has been working in the shopping center for about 40 years, approved of the arrangement.

"(Gary) and I have been working closely together to make sure this a successful venture," he said. "He has the option to come join us."

Mr. Solnik has spoken with students at La Entrada Middle School in Menlo Park about how to add a personal touch to the salon. He hopes to start a wall of fame that recognizes local student achievement and contributors to the community.

Great Clips is located at 325 Sharon Park Drive, Suite F2, in Menlo Park.

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