There's something reassuring about Lorenzo Lavorgna's smile. It's genuine. It's kind.
His presence alone is enough to put you at ease -- to make you feel at home at his Teaneck barbershop, Fifth Avenue Haircutters.
Aside from cutting your hair, that's what Lavorgna is after.
"When people walk out with a smile on their face," he said from inside of his Cedar Lane shop, "it makes me happy."
Oct. 2 marks 50 years in business for Lavorgna -- affectionately known by customers as Larry -- who has yet to tire of his trade
"No doubt about it, I love to talk," he said. "I love to socialize."
Lavorgna began cutting hair when he moved to the U.S. at 15 years old six decades ago from Italy. He worked under someone else for eight years before he started going to school.
In 1968, he opened Fifth Avenue Haircutters a few doors down from where he is now -- 401 Cedar Lane.
Back then, he had six people working for him. There was a manicurist, a shoe-shiner and more. Now, it's just Lavorgna and he hopes soon an apprentice.
Lavorgna values the relationships he's formed with his customers, noting that's been the secret to his success.
"Third generations are coming to me," Lavorgna said. "Parents, grandparents and even some great-grandparents."
It hasn't really seemed like work to the barber, though. His time on Cedar Lane has been far too enjoyable to call it that: "I just like to make people smile."
Stop into Fifth Avenue Haircutters to congratulate Larry on his milestone -- you'll be sure to see him smile.
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