Tom Stevens, owner and operator of Tom’s Barbershop in Norton, isn’t afraid to tell you how he feels. If you want proof, you just have to pull in the parking lot and look at the sign that reads “Barber Shop Parking Only: All Others will be towed and sold for Scrap.”
“I’m a safe haven for guys with opinions,” he said. “There’s absolutely nothing you're not going to hear here; it’s definitely politically incorrect. There are a lot of guys out there that are looking for that atmosphere. Where do you find a good haircut and good conversation?”
Stevens is a Dorchester native originally, and worked for the city of Boston as a heavy motor equipment operator in the Parks and Recreation Department. This meant, according to Stevens, that he did everything and anything that needed to be done.
“If they needed a plumber, I was a plumber. If they needed a mason, I was a mason,” he said.
Stevens said he first started cutting hair in his hometown of Dorchester with the barber who had cut his hair. He said that because of living restrictions for city employees, his house on the outskirts of Boston did not allow him to continue working at the Park and Recreation department, and he started working for his friend.
Stevens said he fought it for two years, and finally won his job back.
“I won my job back, but by that time I figured it was easier for me retire,” he said. “You know, my mother said that 'when one door closes, another one opens,'” he said. “This was the best door that ever opened, and my mother lived to see me open a successful business.”
Stevens worked for Dave and Vinny’s Barber shop in Stoughton and then bought the property in Norton. He has participated in several local charities over the years in Norton, including the Norton Lions, Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, the Wounded Warriors Project and Saint Judes Children’s Research Hospital.
He said he’s not afraid to pick up the slack in terms of charitable donations. He said last year he participated in a silent auction, and when auction items were not getting the price he felt they deserved, he bought them back and is now setting up a raffle to get more. He also gives free haircuts for weddings, returning veterans and soldiers just about to ship out.
“A lot of the kids that come back, they usually get a haircut out of here for nothing,” he said. “I do a lot of stuff like that because you have to give a little back to those who give to you.”