Pennington’s Frank Whyte is a barber, like his father, and his father’s father. Since 2008, Frank’s busy shop on West Delaware Avenue has been a warm, friendly place. At The Pennington Barber, customers become friends, and friends become family. So when Frank fell suddenly ill in March, his friends next door naturally came to his aid.
“He’s been such a good neighbor,” said Shannon McIntyre, owner of Pixie Salon, one door down from The Pennington Barber. “[At first] I didn’t even know when the trash went out – Frank did it!”
On March 23, Frank was rushed from his shop to the hospital by ambulance, and Shannon knew how to help. The next day, a sign appeared on the door of The Pennington Barber. The sign let his customers know the shop would be temporarily closed, and offered them an open door at Pixie Salon. Not only were Shannon and her staff offering to keep Frank’s clients trimmed, they even honored his low rates for all these weeks while he recuperated.
“My intention has been to keep his business open for when he gets back,” Shannon explained. “We knew we had to help if we could.”
Frank’s clients have been welcomed in Shannon’s shop, and her staff have even opened The Pennington Barber from time to time to make sure the business stays strong in Frank’s absence.
This extraordinary gesture has drawn praise from customers and the greater business community, including Kevin Ryan. A longtime client of The Pennington Barber, Kevin is a member of the Pennington Business & Professionals Association board, a member of the Economic Development council, and has a financial services business on South Main Street called Main Street Private Advisors.
“I just thought that this was a great thing that Shannon is doing,” Kevin said, “and I am pleased to count myself as a fellow Pennington business owner. This is a great example of how we can support each other and continue to serve our community.”
Nan Whyte, Frank’s wife, expressed her gratitude for the gesture.
“It’s outstanding in all ways — I didn’t have to worry about it or think about it,” she said.
Frank has now been released from the hospital and is recuperating at home. Nan says he will gradually return to work over the next couple of weeks.
“It’s amazing people will extend themselves this way. [Shannon has] gone above and beyond,” said Nan. “Thank you is not adequate — there aren’t words to tell them how much we appreciate what they’ve done.”