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Dapper Dean's in Thurston near Bury St Edmunds voted best barbers in Suffolk





A village barbers has been named the best in Suffolk after being put forward for the prize by a customer.

Dapper Dean’s Barber Shop, in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, won the title at the regional section of Englands Business Awards and will go through to the national finals.

Co-owners Jo Desmond-Murrells, 53, and Dean Desmond-Murrells, 50, of Barningham, are over the moon with the recognition and can’t believe they won the award.

Paul Mackmin, Jo Desmond-Murrells, Dean Desmond-Murrells, Natasha Spittle, Nathalie Shaves with the award. Picture: Suffolk Retail Business Awards
Paul Mackmin, Jo Desmond-Murrells, Dean Desmond-Murrells, Natasha Spittle, Nathalie Shaves with the award. Picture: Suffolk Retail Business Awards

Ms Desmond-Murrells said: “We’re totally overwhelmed, we weren’t expecting it and it’s come as a total surprise.

“When we got the letter to say one of the customers nominated us, we were thrilled to bits. But to actually win it, is pretty unbelievable.”

The couple have been cutting hair for more than 25 years and opened a barber shop in Thurston in March 2019.

Jo and Dean Desmond-Murrells at the awards night. Picture: Jo Desmond-Murrells
Jo and Dean Desmond-Murrells at the awards night. Picture: Jo Desmond-Murrells

They had previously met and worked together in Kings Road, Bury St Edmunds.

Mr Desmond-Murrells said: “We’re very proud because we started as a little barber shop that we thought was only going to be a village barber shop, but it’s now turned into something quite the opposite.

“We honestly love and enjoy what we do. Being creative and working with people is just brilliant."

The first customer of the shop's opening in March 2019. Picture: Jo Desmond-Murrells
The first customer of the shop's opening in March 2019. Picture: Jo Desmond-Murrells

The two of them as well as Natasha Spittle, 48, and Lauren Ware, 34, are all barbers at the shop and when three people are working, they can get through 45 customers a day.

As with many businesses, the pandemic was a difficult challenge for Dapper Dean’s to overcome.

“Having to shut for so long due to the lockdowns after a successful opening year was horrible,” he said.

“We’re very proud because we started as a little barber shop that we thought was only going to be a village barber shop, but it’s now turned into something quite the opposite." Picture: Jo Desmond-Murrells
“We’re very proud because we started as a little barber shop that we thought was only going to be a village barber shop, but it’s now turned into something quite the opposite." Picture: Jo Desmond-Murrells

“Coming back from Covid-19 and having to fix everyone’s hair was also a nightmare.”

One of the things that the barber shop prides itself on is that they are fully inclusive of all ages and can have four different generations come to the shop as Thurston is a ‘family orientated village’ although cutting younger children’s hair can prove to be a 'challenge'.

The pair have also had to deal with fights in the shop and on a Christmas Eve, had someone fall out of the chair because they’d had too much to drink.

The co-owners are looking forward to the finals in November in Birmingham. Picture: Jo Desmond-Murrells
The co-owners are looking forward to the finals in November in Birmingham. Picture: Jo Desmond-Murrells

The co-owners are now looking forward to the finals in November in Birmingham.

To vote, visit www.nominees.info/vote or text Dapper Deans, Thurston to 07520634133.