Bob Yesue bought Rocco Foti’s two-chair barbershop in 1970, and the downtown Marlborough landmark now occupies three storefronts and two levels, with over 25 stylists and barbers.
Roc’s Unisex Salon is still a family business and one that focuses on families. Yesue can be found at his chair most days, working with customers whose hair he has been styling for years, even decades. His daughter, Heather Yesue Smith, is also a stylist and helps run the business, and his wife, Jan, keeps the accounts and shows up at 6 a.m. most mornings to start the first pot of coffee. Chad Yesue, Bob’s son, has his own business, Joy-Den Jewelers, right next door.
Bob Yesue is proud to be a significant part of the revival of downtown Marlborough.
“We’ve been part of Marlborough for 43 years. I’ve cut the hair of most of Marlborough’s mayors. When I bought this building in 1974, I made the decision Marlborough is a great place to start a business. We could have gone to the Solomon Pond Mall when it opened, but we decided to stay on Main Street,” he said.
Many of the salon’s employees have been with Yesue for years, some for over 25 or 30 years, and the atmosphere in the salon reflects the warmth and camaraderie of people who enjoy each other’s company.
Heather Yesue Smith points out the salon now serves men, women and children, with “a consistent product at reasonable prices. We often cut the whole family’s hair.”
“We do a ton of children, with no minimum age,” she said. “We do a lot of first haircuts, any way a child feels comfortable. I love doing children.” Smith’s station features photos of her own three children. “We tell them it’s fun and they’ll be so grown up.”
While men are welcome in all areas of the salon, a downstairs section is set up as the barber shop, equipped with a television for sports events, where many of Roc’s male customers like to gather.
For women customers, Roc’s stylists provide all the expected cuts and hair coloring services, and the salon also offers facials, hair removal services, massage, skin care, manicures and pedicures, and makeup. A licensed esthetician provides many of these services.
With the large number of stylists it employs and the spacious facility, Roc’s easily handles large groups, especially for proms and weddings.
“We can serve all the members of the group simultaneously because we are so big. Many of our stylists have been with us 15 years or more, and we can call on them to come in if necessary, making it easier and quicker for the group to be finished on schedule,” Smith said.
Highlights are particularly popular now, she said. “The high school and college girls like to add highlights if their hair isn’t brightened enough by the sun in the summer.”
The salon can also provide the latest fashion colors. And she finds many of the men are starting to go for a slightly longer look.
Roc’s, at 217-221 Main St., welcomes walk-ins as well as customers by appointment. “With the number of stylists we have, walk-ins seldom have to wait very long,” she said. Appointments are needed for many of the skin care and massage services, and for large parties.
The salon also has gift certificates available, “especially popular for Mother’s Day,” she noted.
Roc’s is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday. Additional information on available services is on the website, www.rocsunisexsalon.com, and appointments can be made at 508-485-1444.
-By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer