Our Local Stories with Nicki & Anthony from San Antonio Barbershop

by NillumbikConnections
5 mins read

Have you ever thought about changing your career to the one you dreamed about at school? A career change at an age where you you already have an established career and you’re supporting a family? Anthony from San Antonio Barbershop did just that! A move from NSW five years ago, he had always dreamed of becoming a Barber and owning his own business. Aren’t we lucky that he, his wife Nicki and family chose Eltham to set up their beautiful family business?

They are a humble family, living and loving life and business in Eltham. They have a passion in all things barbering and are grateful to be part of our community.

About Anthony and Nicki

Anthony and Nicki Laruffa moved from the country town of Griffith in New South Wales, to Melbourne in 2016. They had an intention of changing careers. Anthony was a Printing Machinist by trade, and had worked in the industry for over 20 years. He had always regretted not becoming a Barber after leaving school. They relocated here with their three children. This was a huge step coming from a small rural country town to a big city. It was here that Anthony decided to enrol as a full-time Barbering student at the industry renowned Biba Academy. From the get-go, he loved learning the craft and mastering techniques from Barbers all around the world. Anthony is passionate about what he does and is always striving to be the best Barber he can be. Nicki was a Teacher’s Aide, and began working in an administration role when they moved to Melbourne. Nicki has recently enrolled at Barber school too. On completion of her training, she is looking forward to barbering alongside Anthony and the team.

Getting started…

After years of working in the Barbering Industry, Anthony became motivated to bring his creative ideas to life and open a shop of his own. He also identified a need for Barbers in Eltham. He knew he could not only offer a Barber, but also the service and atmosphere we know the Eltham community would appreciate.


San Antonio Barbershop is an all-inclusive space where people of all ages are welcome to relax. Customers can enjoy traditional and contemporary barbering and grooming services. Their services include anything from classic haircuts, to modern fades and mullets. Also beard and moustache trims and even old-school straight razor shaves. All whilst enjoying light-hearted banter and a beverage. San Antonio Barbershop do not discriminate against anyone, and welcome females into their salon too. Whether they are accompanying a male, or are looking for a short hairstyle themselves, with the fine detailing that Barbers have to offer.

San Antonio Barbershop

The Barbershop offers an upmarket barber experience without the premium price tag! For Anthony and Nicki, it is not just about the number of people they can get through our doors. They are a local family owned business who strive to welcome their clients (friends) into their second home and feel part of the family. They believe in community and connection and genuinely want to get to know their clients. We aim to give every client quality time, exceptional haircuts and value for money.

The Name, San Antonio Barbershop

Anthony and Nicki had plenty of time to think of a shop name, it was something they had in mind well before they found a shop space! They knew they didn’t want a generic name and branding, they wanted something classier, yet classic! Something that would complement the space they envisioned. They brainstormed a long list of names and San Antonio was one of them. They decided on this name for a couple of reasons. Not only does the name include Anthony’s name, Antonio, but it also holds a special place for Nicki. Her faith in the patron Saint, St Anthony, has given her strength and gotten her through some very difficult times. The road to opening San Antonio Barbershop was definitely not without many challenges. Out of gratitude, they thought San Antonio Barbershop was a fitting name. It is a constant reminder for us to stay humble and to be grateful for what we have.

 Finding a shop and getting underway

The search for a commercial space commenced well before the Covid-19 pandemic. But Anthony and Nicki found it difficult to find a space that met their requirements. When the Pandemic hit our city, as upsetting as it was, they thought it best to put their search on hold. During this time of uncertainty, they never gave up on their dreams. Instead they continued to brainstorm concepts for their future shop, including décor ideas. By the beginning of 2021, with vaccinations underway, Anthony and Nicki thought the worst of the lockdowns were behind them. When they saw their shop become available for lease, they did not want to let the opportunity pass.

The rewards and challenges

One of their most rewarding, exciting and nervous moments was definitely the first day they opened their doors. It felt surreal that they had accomplished their dream shop. Not only do they live in Eltham, but owning a shop made them feel more integrated within the Eltham community. It is always so rewarding to see their clients walk away happy, feeling good and telling Anthony and Nicki they’ll be back!

Their biggest stress and challenge since being open for business was definitely the Covid 19 pandemic. Shutting their doors indefinitely, during lockdowns was a very stressful and emotional time. But with determination and persistence, they got through them and are very excited for a less interrupted future.

 Supporting this lovely local business

San Antonio Barbershop quite often get a lot of walk-ins during peak times. Unfortunately, they have to turn them away due to honouring pre-booked appointments. What they need from our community, is clients booking ahead to ensure Anthony and Nicki can provide the best service. Clients have responded well to the online booking system and love being able to book a time around their busy schedules. We can also support San Antonio Barbershop by continuing to support them on social media. If you have Facebook or Instagram, please give their page a like and follow and perhaps a share! This helps speed up the process of getting their name out into the world.

Thank you Nicki and Anthony, we loved getting to know you and learning about San Antonio Barbershop. To make an online booking, click here

Read more from our Articles here. And if you’d like to write for us or work together on an article as Nicki, Anthony and I have done, contact us to chat.

Thank you for reading, we hope you loved learning more about this beautiful local business.

Please feel free to leave a comment for the Barbers below.

Click here to see other local businesses listed within our online directory.

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