Have you ever been to Zazou and wondered about our big beautiful barber chair in the corner of Lynn Valley came from?
The chair once belonged to Joffre Brondgeest, the self proclaimed “Lucky Barber” of Lower Lonsdale. He lived on the North Shore for more than 90 years and over 40 of them in Lynn Valley. He was the son of a barber and started Joffre’s Barber Shop at 129 Lonsdale Ave in 1933, where he worked until retirement in 1990.
Joffre’s Barber Shop was as much a social gathering spot as it was a place to get a great haircut. Most afternoons you would find Joff’s customers enjoying a drink as they caught up on local gossip. He cut hair through major world events such as the Great Depression, World War II and the many ups and downs of the growing North Shore Community. Multiple generations of men sat in his chair for the experience of a great cut by him.
Joffre’s son, Joff Jr began to make his own money and found a cool new hairstylist named Bruce at an upcoming salon called Zazou which had just opened in Lynn Valley in 1992. Joff’s wife and daughter have also made Zazou their go-to and are still valued guests at the salon.
This now antique barber chair was used by Joffre when he first opened shop in Lower Lonsdale, where he was regarded as the “un-official mayor”. He had a wealth of memories and loved to share his stories of the early days of North Vancouver. Fittingly the site where Joffre’s Barber Shop once stood is the now popular Browns Social House. So the next time you’re at Brown’s in Lower Lonsdale after a great cut at Zazou, have a toast to the “Lucky Barber”.
Happy Birthday to the man himself! We will continue the exceptional experiences you started!
Joffre Geraldus Brondgeest
October 24th, 1915 – February 18th, 2014