Chris Pomeleo created something truly special with Prohibition Barbers in Stillwater, Minn. where he is owner and master barber. Prohibition Barbers opened in 2015 and was originally located in downtown Minneapolis but by 2020, Pomeleo was ready for a change of scenery. “I wanted to get out of the middle of the city, so I found Stillwater last October and it has been incredible,” Pomeleo says.
Pomeleo enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was 28 years old. “I’ve always wanted to be in the military. I thought I could give to something bigger than myself. As I was getting older, I just wanted an opportunity to do it and I didn’t want it to pass me by.” As an Army veteran, Pomeleo believes it is important that people understand the level of commitment it takes to serve in the military. Veterans and first responders get their haircuts at Prohibition Barbers because of the patriotic messages the barbershop promotes. He says, “I don’t think I could have ever dreamt of the sense of community that this shop has created.”
Pomeleo discovered his passion for cutting hair while oversees on deployment in Bagdad, Iraq. “There were 120 of us ... I became the barber for the troops when we weren’t doing missions. It was a time for me to give back and make people feel a little bit better about their day,” he says.
Now, along with giving haircuts at Prohibition Barbers, Pomeleo chooses a charity each month to donate $1,000.00. “I’m a big believer in charity and giving,” he says. The charities he’s contributed to include Hometown Hero Outdoors, Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association and First HOOAH Minnesota of HOOAH Inc. These charities focus on rehabilitating servicemen and women along with veterans.