By ELISHA SAUERS
The Capital of Annapolis
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Edward Moon’s shop is in a simple brick building in an unassuming spot in Annapolis.
Some might call it just a small neighborhood business, but its reputation for good service, good friends and good deeds has traveled outside the city, bringing customers from Calvert County, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Most recently, the word spread to comedian and TV star Steve Harvey in Las Vegas.
Moon, owner of the 11-year-old Moon’s Barber Shop on West Street, has won the 2011 Hoodie Award for best barbershop. Harvey created the annual award to recognize small-town business people.
The shop has a staff of seven — Moon and fellow barbers Ronald Moulden, Ernest Smith, Mike Blake, Tarell Colbert, Rondell Williams and Demore Mullins.
Harvey, who started from humble beginnings and launched a successful career in entertainment, wanted regular folks to
experience a red-carpet awards ceremony. The Hoodie Awards categories are best community leader, fried chicken, nail salon, high school teacher, car wash, soul food restaurant, church choir, high school, barbecue, beauty salon, church and barbershop.
This was the ninth year for the event.
With the help of Facebook and a sign out front encouraging patrons to vote, Moon was identified as a finalist in the
competition and flown, along with his wife, Colleen, on an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas for the ceremony.
“It was a good feeling on that huge stage, and you get kind of nervous,” Moon said, recalling the jitters he felt on Aug. 13 when he received a plaque as heavy as a bowling ball and delivered his acceptance speech.
He was still in awe of his stay at the Mandalay Bay luxury hotel and his brush with celebrities.
“This one here was the extravaganza,” he said.
When he moved to Annapolis, Moon didn’t have a barber, so he learned to cut his own hair. Some 22 years later, his commitment to the craft shows in a forearm tattoo of barber clippers with his name on it.
Inside his shop recently, Moon sat in his barber chair dangling his feet over the checkerboard floor — soft-spoken and modest, but king of his castle all the same.
Around him, the walls bore “Congratulations” banners friends hung to welcome him home.
They blended with scenes of a lively business: a man draped in a salon cape getting his hair clipped by Moulden, Blake cleaning up around his station, and flat-screen TVs blaring sports news.
Kirk Jones, a regular, said he wasn’t surprised Moon’s won the national award. The barbershop is like a second home to him, bringing him back again and again for the people and camaraderie.
Last week he was in the shop just for a visit but left with a sharp and angular trim to his facial hair.
“You hang around a barbershop, you’ll leave with something cut,” he said. “Since its inception, I’ve been coming here. You can always get a nice sports argument going.”
Moon has taken his role in the community to heart, sponsoring youth basketball teams and hosting back-to-school drives.
Yesterday, with the help of church and commercial partners, Moon gave out 350 free backpacks filled with school supplies to needy kids.
“He’s a real good dude,” said Blake, who is grateful for his new job at the shop. “I’ve learned a lot of new things here.”
Moon says he’s touched that he received so many votes from the community. He entered the contest last year, too, but wasn’t even selected as a nominee.
“You know how you grow up and have nothing but you give and you give? Then you come to find out, people appreciate what you do.”
Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md., http://www.hometownannapolis.com/
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)