A century-old building near downtown Cambridge, that over the years has been many things including a creamery and a flower shop, is back in business.
The building at 209 Olson Way – formerly River Street – now has three suites in which are operating a barber shop that opened Oct. 1, a hair salon that opened in August and dog grooming service that opened in June.
The building has been owned by the same family for generations. The current owner, William Hill, grew up in Cambridge and is the son of Marletta and Bob Hill, who ran a longtime flower shop and landscaping business on the site.
Hill remodeled the 2,500-square-foot building in 2015 but the commercial suites were unoccupied for about four years. His daughter, Becky Borchardt, a 2004 Cambridge High School graduate, has now opened B&B Barber Shop in one of them. Borchardt lives with her husband and children in additional space in the back of the building that has been remodeled as a home.
The other two new businesses are The Doggie PAWlor, owned by Debi Fleming, and Serenity View Salon, owned by Jennifer Henning-Raether.
Constructed in the 1920s as the Cambridge Creamery, a front portion of the building “was a flower shop the whole time I was growing up here,” Borchardt recalls. Her grandmother closed the flower shop around 2004.
Borchardt said she’s thrilled to be raising her children in Cambridge. Her husband, too, has deep roots in the community.
“My kids are growing up where I grew up,” she said. “There is something about knowing everybody in town, just a sense of security. And the school district is amazing.”
“It’s nice to be here. I wouldn’t raise kids anywhere else.”
Borchardt said her vision includes donating a portion of the barbershop’s proceeds to the Cambridge Area Resource Team (CART) to fund haircuts for low-income local children and for adults who can’t afford to pay a barber. She also plans to offer reduced-price haircuts for active duty and retired military service members, firefighters, police officers and EMTs.
“I just have an extremely high respect for people who serve. They deserve a $10 haircut,” she said.
Additionally, in honor of her sister who had juvenile diabetes and who died at the age of 30, Borchardt says she will donate some proceeds to juvenile diabetes research.
And, she plans to donate some proceeds to efforts to combat opioid abuse.
Th opioid abuse trend of recent years Borchardt called “a super scary thing and it’s not going away.”
The Doggie PAWlor
Fleming, who lives in the Town of Oakland, has been working as a dog groomer for 16 years. The owner of the most recent shop she worked at retired, “and I wasn’t over dogs yet,” she said. “I wanted to continue working with animals.”
She said she likes her new space.
“I think they’ve done a really good job with the building,” she said.
Fleming said The Doggie PAWlor’s niche is having only one appointment in the shop at a time. She is the only employee.
She believes the quiet, unrushed atmosphere is especially beneficial for elderly dogs.
“The elderly dogs that do come in, I kind of pamper them after their bath. I put towels down so they don’t get scared and slip and let them lay down if they want to; that’s just who I am,” Fleming said. “I just want to make it a good experience for the dogs and have them be happy when they come here.”
Serenity View Salon
Henning-Raether couldn’t be reached for comment. Borchardt said she’s worked as a hair stylist in other locations in Cambridge for many years.