- Business Advocacy
The City Council commended Sam Artino, aka Sam the barber, for his 50 years in business at Sam’s customer appreciation day. From left are former Mayor and Councilmember Dr. Steven Placido, HCDA Commissioner Steve Cosci, Mr. Artino, and Councilmembers Barbara Messina and David Mejia.
Sam Artino, aka “Sam the barber,” wanted to find a way to thank his many loyal customers for their business, friendship, and generosity, so he came up with the idea of a ‘”customer appreciation day.” For this event, he reserved the entire grounds of Alhambra Park on April 8.
He arranged entertainment, food, bottled water, and picnic facilities. There were two bands, one a ‘50s rock band the Swinging 8-Balls, who played the old favorites, and a Mariachi band “Mariachi Los Dorados de Chihuahua” from Santa Ana. Food was on offer from one of Alhambra’s newest businesses, Baja Cali, on a BYOT (buy your own taco) basis.
Sam was prepared for a large crowd and was not disappointed. Hundreds of people showed up to share in the festivities. Included in their number were Alhambra City Council members Barbara Messina and David Mejia, as well as former mayor Steven Placido.
Sam even had gifts to share. A raffle was organized to distribute prizes, such as a check for $1,000, which Alex Aquila won, airline tickets good for travel anywhere in the continental United States, tickets to Disneyland, box seats for Dodger games, 24 movie tickets to IMAX theaters, 24 tickets to regal theaters, $25 gift cards for Subway sandwiches, and T-shirts.
Sam has been cutting hair in Alhambra for 59 years. For 50 of those years, he has operated his own shop. That means he is not only the dean of haircutters but the dean of Alhambra business leaders as well.
Over the years, Sam has become involved in many charitable causes in the western San Gabriel Valley and has invited his customers to participate with him. Whether it be buying Girl Scout cookies, collecting toys at Christmas, or donating money and gifts to foster children, Sam has given his customers a way to be involved in service to the community. More than $1 million has been raised in this way.
Sam encourages new customers to visit his shop at 1103 E. Main St, Alhambra. He highly recommends two of his associates. One is John Deleon, who most recently cut hair at the California Club. Joe Gimanco took a leave of absence and John is offering to support his customers until his return. Contact him at 562-522-1885.
Sam’s other barber is his godson, 31-year-old Daniel De Soto. His phone number for appointments is 626-634-9392. Daniel has been working in Sam’s shop for a year and a half and the experience has been life changing. “I’ve learned a lot from Sam like being loyal, respectful and humble,” he said. “I’ve learned to treat every customer the same, just like he does.” Daniel also said he is learning the lesson of one of Sam’s favorite quotes, “I’m not that smart, I just pay attention.”