NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — A long-time New Haven family business has just been sold.
The hair salon Pio’s of Italy has a new owner, but the price that the business was sold at is what’s making the news.
Kathy Moura was 18-years-old and fresh out of high school when she went to Pio of Italy for an interview.
“I walked in. I was so nervous. I was like, ‘can I bring my mom in?’ and he was like, ‘come right ahead,’” Moura told News 8.
Pio Imperati is all about family and hired Moura on the spot to work in his salon, a business he had been growing since he came to American in the early 1960s. They built their current salon on Whalley Avenue in 1972.
“Me and my wife Carol, we were just married, and it was a challenge. It was a big challenge, believe me,” Imperati said.
Carol is a hairstyling instructor and she helped Moura learn the business.
“After about a year and a half, she flourished. She bloomed, I said, and it’s been good ever since,” Carol told News 8.
Moura has been working for the Imperati’s for 15 years now, becoming less and less like an employee.
Pio has been cutting hair for 64 years, so he decided to take a step back and sell the business to Moura.
“I remember her saying to me, “Pio, how much do you want?’ and I went like this. Zero. She couldn’t believe it. She was flabbergasted,” Pio said.
Legally, the price is $1. It saves her the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost to open her own salon, and Pio will still work a few days a week.
“They’ve given me so much that I want to give more back to them, and they were like, ‘No, no, no, no,’” Moura said.
While Moura will be the new owner, Pio’s name is still the one on the sign.
“It’s known as Pio’s. It’s always going to be known as Pio’s. Here forever,” Moura said.
While Moura will pay rent to Imperati, she avoids a charge that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a salon for the equipment, supplies and clientele.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.