Larry Roberts, Jr. started cutting hair at age 13 in his parents’ basement and opened his first barbershop at the age of 18. After relocating the business from Matteson to Chicago and opening additional shops, Larry opened his first barber college in 2004. Larry’s Barber College provides a positive, professional atmosphere for barber training, career development and mentoring. There are now four Larry’s Barber Colleges, including a first-of-its-kind facility inside the Cook County Department of Corrections. To support the program, Roberts started Data Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization that provides resources and finances for the jail program. Since it’s opening, the barber college in Cook County Department of Corrections has seen 300 graduates. The Data Foundation provides help and resources for at risk young adults up to the age of 25.
Walmart is celebrating its newest offering for Chicagoans with the opening of Larry’s BarberMaximus inside the Chatham Walmart Supercenter. The barbershop marks the latest offering by Master Barber Larry Roberts, Jr., who currently operates four locations in the Chicago area, and aligns with Walmart’s overall commitment to open small locally owned businesses in its stores. The opening comes as the retailer has been focused on listening to its customers to determine where Walmart can fill a need and help customers save time. Walmart believes opening small, locally owned businesses in stores gives customers an opportunity to experience new services and gives the businesses a path to grow.
“Whether it’s stocking up on groceries for the week, or getting a great haircut, we’re focused on meeting the needs of the community we serve, a passion Mr. Roberts clearly shares,” said Patrice Gibson, Chatham Walmart Store Manager. “We’re proud to work with him to bring his talents and dedication to our customers.”
The new salon at Walmart will be staffed by barbers and cosmetologists, many whom are graduates of Larry’s Barber College. The southside Walmart Supercenter is home to a health facility, banking service, optical salon and now a barber shop that also offers services for women such as eyelashes, brows and nail services. The grand opening of Larry’s BarberMaximus included a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Since opening his first barbershop at 18, Larry Roberts, Jr has been committed to creating a safe space for the youth and young adults in his community. “This new location at the Chatham Walmart store means an even greater opportunity to reach, teach, and grow the community I love,” said Larry Roberts, entrepreneur and Founder of BarberMaximus. “My focus has not just been about achieving success for myself, but also to give back and help others achieve that same success. I’m excited to work with Walmart to do just that.”
Read more about Walmart’s commitment to bring small businesses into stores on a larger scale here.