Business Spotlights

Business Profile: CoZi’s Barber Shop, Mahopac

We are part of The Trust Project
Photo caption one: Bobby Cobelli-Zizolfo has been open for business since Labor Day. The Carmel resident hopes CoZi’s Barber Shop can become a staple in the community for residents of all ages. DAVID PROPPER PHOTO
Bobby Cobelli-Zizolfo has been open for business since Labor Day. The Carmel resident hopes CoZi’s Barber Shop can become a staple in the community for residents of all ages.

Bobby Cobelli-Zizolfo believes every barbershop owner has a distinct vision for his shop.

Cobelli-Zizolfo wants to foster a place where “gentlemen of all ages” can come in, relax, socialize with each other, listen to great music, and get a great haircut. He wants it to be a center of the community.

“When you think about how barbershops used to be in the golden era of barbershops between 1880 and 1920, it was a staple in the community,” Cobelli-Zizolfo explained. “It was just a gathering place for all the guys in the area. That’s what I want to recreate here.”

And for the past few months, Cobelli-Zizolfo has been working hard to make his new business, CoZi’s Barber Shop, the center of the Mahopac community. Opened right before Labor Day, Cobelli-Zizolfo has seen a steady number of walk-ins come in, on top of regular clients who he’s known since his days of cutting hair in Yorktown. While providing a terrific haircut or shave matters, so does the personality snipping the hair.

“When people come to see a barber, it’s not just your finished product,” he said. “It’s the smile from the moment they walk in. If they don’t like you, they’re not coming in regardless of a how good of a haircut you get.”

Cobelli-Zizolfo, who lives in Carmel, was originally a banker but was not too happy with that profession. After four years in the field, and toying with the idea of leaving it to start cutting hair, one terrible experience with a barber in Westchester County pushed him over the edge.

Describing it as the “worst shave of my life” from a barber, Cobelli-Zizolfo questioned how this man could become a barber and knew he could do a better job. He was determined to prove himself right.

From there, he enrolled in Atlas Barber School, one of the oldest schools in the state and worked at Four Brothers Pizza during nights to keep money in his pocket. He worked at a barber store in Yorktown for four years, building up a solid reputation. Eventually, he started searching for a location to open up his own shop, and is happy where he landed.

As of now, Cobelli-Zizolfo is the only person manning the shop. He wants customers and the community at-large to get to know him before he brings other barbers in. He’s already immersed himself into the community by giving all armed servicemen a free haircut on Veterans Day last Tuesday.

To a certain extent, Cobelli-Zizolfo recalls his own childhood of going to a barbershop in Yonkers where he grew up. He still remembers the smell of the Clubman’s powder, hearing the chatter and laughter of men, old and young in the shop, and the sight of a great haircut.

All these years later, he wants CoZi’s to be just like that.

“I want to recreate that vibe in the shop I own,” Cobelli-Zizolfo said. “It’s very much for the gentleman to come in but this is also for myself because this is where I’m going to conduct my business. I want it to be some place where I’m relaxed myself.”


We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.