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Moderno Entrepreneur Balances Two Barbershops With Bread Route

Published Friday Mar 22, 2024

Left: The Concord crew cutting hair on a busy Wednesday in February. Right: Amaury “Moe” Mercado and his son Kenneth, 16, in front of Moderno Barbershop at 25 South St. in Concord. (Courtesy of Moderno Barbershop)

Amaury Mercado, who goes by Moe, is a busy man. When he isn’t behind the wheel of his truck running a bread route for Bimbo Bakeries in Massachusetts, he’s wielding clippers in Concord at his own business, Moderno Barbershop, which has locations in Concord and Tilton, often catching a quick nap in between. “I don’t like to sit still,” he says.

The seeds for cutting hair were planted in high school, Mercado says. “It started out cutting buddies’ hair, cleaning ’em up with a regular Gillette shaver,” he says, adding his older brother and his friend who had a barbershop were often around and that he sometimes used his brother’s tools to give haircuts.

Years later Mercado approached his own barber, Manny, letting him know he was attending barber school. That conversation would have lasting consequences. “He had said ‘come back and see me after you graduate and I’ll set you up,’” Mercado says.

After receiving his hair styling license and working for other barbers, Mercado went back to see Manny. “He handed me his machines and his clippers. ‘Just take em,’ he said. He kept his word.”

Mercado opened Moderno in Concord in 2014 and another location in Tilton in late 2019. The name Moderno came about when Mercado and his younger brother were in Concord to register a name with the Secretary of State’s Office. “We didn’t have a name when the gentleman asked for it,” he says. “So, we started thinking…Diamond Cuts, Capital City Cuts, a whole bunch of names. Then we said, ‘let’s give it a Spanish name, we’re Hispanics. Why not Moderno?’”

Mercado drew inspiration for running his business from “The Million Dollar Barber,” a book by Raymond M. Patterson Jr. that encourages barbershop and beauty salon owners to diversify. “As a barber you have to upsell. You can’t just sit behind the chair,” Mercado says. “Early on I had asked myself, ‘how am I going to make extra income?”

Shoes were his answer. In the aughts and 2010’s, Air Jordan sneakers would release on Fridays, and Saturday morning Mercado would stand in line at Footlocker at the Mall of NH waiting to buy them. “I’d buy that Jordan release of the day and head to the barber shop to display them at my station with a markup,” he says. While sneaker sales aren’t as much of a focus, they have become part of Moderno’s brand. “At this point, it’s more about the display,” he says.

Mercado has seven people who lease chairs from him in his Concord shop, and six in Tilton. His cliental ranges from young kids to lawyers. “I’ve been thinking about opening another shop, but there’s too much on my plate now with the bread business,” he says. “But the future is always bright.” For more information, visit

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