A PASSION for making male grooming more approachable has seen a fresh-faced barber shop nominated for a top award.

Hobson and Quinn, based in the heart of the town centre on Cross Street, received a nomination in the Service with a Smile category for this year’s Reading Retail Awards.

The business is the brainchild of husband and wife team Nick and Jo Piasecki, who have worked hard to exploit what they believe to be a gap in the market.

Nick said: “We have done really well since opening in November. It was born out my own experiences of hairdressing.

“I wanted to offer something a little bit nicer than the average barber shop. We fall into a middle ground for price and it is a unique offer for Reading.

“The customers keep coming back and it all comes down to a very simple pleasant experience. Some barbers can be a bit intimidating, so we try to strike a good balance.”

As well as the traditional haircut, shoppers have taken to the wide selection of services on offer at the independent retailer.

Visitors can enjoy a variety massages and take home their favourite products, which have been carefully selected from all over the world.

“I have tried very hard to get products that you can’t get elsewhere. Men want to look good, but there has not always been that platform for them to try it out.

“I really want to try and get the customers to come back and they are not going to do that if they are not made to feel welcome.

“I grew up in the area. It is a good town to do business and has a good commercial population with the right transport links. You can really see that there is a real buzz to it and to win this award would be fitting for all the work that has gone into the business.”

Nominations are still open for this year’s Reading Retail Awards and forms are available at The Oracle and Broad Street Mall.