May 05, 2019

Rose Park native opens barber shop to give back to his community

Break Bread Barber Co. owner, Ricky Arriola, gives just as much attention to young customers as adults.   Photos by David Ricketts|Huno, a regular client, received a creative crop top from Break Bread owner Ricky Arriola. Huno usually requests Ricky “to do whatever.”  Photo courtesy of Break Bread Barber Co.|Modern urban interior design of Break Bread Barber Co. in Rose Park - the first of its kind in the area.    Photo courtesy of Break Bread Barber Co.|||| Break Bread Barber Co. owner, Ricky Arriola, gives just as much attention to young customers as adults. Photos by David Ricketts|Huno, a regular client, received a creative crop top from Break Bread owner Ricky Arriola. Huno usually requests Ricky “to do whatever.” Photo courtesy of Break Bread Barber Co.|Modern urban interior design of Break Bread Barber Co. in Rose Park - the first of its kind in the area. Photo courtesy of Break Bread Barber Co.|||| ||||||

By Atticus Agustin

The piece of property on 910 N. 900 West in Rose Park once housed a 7-Eleven, a QuickStop, and a Supermeats, and then it stood vacant for three years. Rose Park native, Ricky Arriola, had a vision that the property would someday house his own barber shop. That vision was realized in the fall of 2018, when Break Bread Barber Co.was established “to bring people together for the betterment of the community through their company culture and every haircut they give.”

“At Break Bread, we are a culture. A mixed one. But at the end of the day, everyone gets a haircut,” Arriola said. “Unlike most types of businesses, a barber shop can move places. It’s a communal thing and a sanctuary. I felt the need to give back to the community by providing employment and a space for people to take care of themselves in many aspects.”

Arriola’s cousin, a former employee from the smoke shop next door, bought the property, put it up for sale, and it eventually fell into the hands of Arriola, who saw potential in renovating the old building on the property. The location is strategic, as the 600 North and 1000 North freeway ramps make it easy to access the shop.

For Arriola, it is also a strategic way to draw people from other parts of the city to the west side. “We’re homegrown. That’s why we’re here. Not because we need to, but because we want to,” said Arriola. “There’s never been a high-end barber shop [in Rose Park] until now,” he said.

Arriola was born and raised in Rose Park. He is proud to be familiar and have a genuine camaraderie with the neighborhood. His young son is a motivator for starting his own business, because he wants to give his son opportunities that weren’t available to him.

The barber employs stylists of all walks of life. Jai Santos, 32, hails from Brazil and proudly admits that he is skilled in “cutting black people hair,” meaning those with textured hair.

Zach Hansen, 27, has been cutting hair for five years. He is also a Salt Lake County native but had a short stint in Costa Mesa, California, and eventually came back to the valley. Zach learned the craft of barbery at Paul Mitchell and couldn’t be more grateful to work alongside Arriola and the other barbers.

For some, cutting hair is akin to creating a piece of art, as is the case with Diego Martinez, 20. “Everyone that comes in has a different head shape. It’s tailoring. It’s like a work of art,” said Martinez.

Arriola has competed in a couple of haircut contests and recently took third place in the women’s creative bob competition at the Salt Lake City Beauty and Barber Expo, which was held at the Union Event Center in April. The event featured big names in the barber industry.

“Break bread” has many meanings. Initially, it symbolized the Christian Eucharist. Other metaphors for break bread include sharing a meal together or breaking the ice. For Arriola, to “break bread” is to affirm trust, confidence, and comfort with an individual or group of people. He explains it as “the act or process of sharing worthiness, such as knowledge used to enhance life with the intent to uplift others.”

 To book an appointment with any of the Break Bread barbers, visit www.breakbreadbarber.com. Regular men’s haircuts start at $25.