This Little Shop With A Big Heart Gives Back To Our Community

During the Christmas Toy Drive at Mario's Barbershop, Mario Innocenzi was visited by Parma Ward 6 Councilman Kevin Kussmaul, who stopped by to bring toys and recognize Mario for all that he gives back to our community. 

Every year on the day after "Black Friday" in November we celebrate Small Business Saturday, but really, it's important to think of and support the small businesses in our community all year long. One of those businesses is Mario's Barbershop at 7526 Broadview Rd.located within the shopping center at the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road. Owned and operated by Mario Innocenzi, a long time old school barber who makes customers for life every day as people come there to experience the quality service that only a small neighborhood shop like this can offer. 

For many years, Mario has been involved with directly helping those impacted by natural disasters, including collecting items for those devastated by hurricanes. More than once he personally delivered a truckload of absolutely essential items to victims in disaster zones which had been donated by so many generous prople in our area. Who can even say just how many people benefited from his efforts during their time of need, possibly the very worst moments in their lives? It is very uplifting, to say the least, just knowing that there are people in our community like Mario that go way above what is expected in order to help others. 

A few years ago some health issues sidelined Mario in a big way, and it took some time for him to return to his normal routine operating his business. We were very concerned, and also very relieved when he did recover and was once again in his shop doing what he does so well. No one would have blamed him if he didn't have the time or energy to continue with his mission of helping others in their time of need, but that's not what happened. Before long Mario was back at it, and his latest effort is a good example of the old saying "you can't keep a good man down". During the Holiday Season, Mario's Barbershop held their annual Christmas Toy Drive, where people from the community are asked to donate new toys for boys and girls that otherwise might not experience much if anything at all for the holidays. 

The response from citizens in our area was very satisfactory indeed, and the toys began to pile up in the shop. As Christmas approached. there were many new gifts for children who will no doubt always appreciate that someone cared about them enough to take the time to help. If that weren't enough, Mario's Barbershop also donated items for the second Winterfest in Parma held at Westcreek Reservation on December 29., including delicious hot cocoa several free haircuts. 

I have absolutely nothing against big box. globally operated businesses, several of which operate in our fair city, but I have a special place in my heart for hyper-local businesses like Mario's Barbershop, that make up the literal fabric of our local business community. When you come here, you are meeting the owner of the business face to face, and the money you spend will go directly back into the community, as opposed to being deposited in a bank account far, far away. I believe it is for this reason that we all should remember to patronize our small businesses without fail, and remember that they are the building blocks of vibrant local commerce that make a city whole. Way to go Mario! See you soon. 

Daniel P. McCarthy

I am the publisher of the Parma Observer. Lifetime resident of Parma for over 50 years.

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 2:00 PM, 01.01.2024