Moleek Murphy Opens Krispy Fresh Cutz Barber Shop

By Jennifer L. Warren

NEWBURGH – It all started with some really bad haircuts.

Moleek Murphy recalls the moments with a wide smile covering his face. He was a young kid whose locks had become too long, and he had a mother who was all too eager to shape them up. Unfortunately, her well-intentioned grooming efforts backfired.

“My mom used to try to cut my hair, and really mess it up,” recalled Murphy, who has lived much of his life in the City of Newburgh. “So, I decided soon after to teach myself how to cut hair.”

Luckily, for the highly motivated, budding barber Murphy, he had three younger brothers around to test out his haircutting skills. In time, his grandmother took notice of his gift with the scissors and razor, and when he was 16, she took him to his Uncle’s barbershop, Sheer Perfection on 180 Liberty Street. Starting out as a sweeper, Murphy was soon “taken under the wings” of not only his Uncle, but several other seasoned barbers, each who passed on precious pearls of barbershop wisdom.

Moleek Murphy, owner of the newly opened barbershop, Krispy Fresh Cutz, applies some of his barber genius and many years of experience to a customer recently at the Broadway business.
Moleek Murphy, owner of the newly opened barbershop, Krispy Fresh Cutz, applies some of his barber genius and many years of experience to a customer recently at the Broadway business.

Two years later, the 18 year old was cutting hair professionally. However, the barber dream was not without its obstacles.

“It was really hard to get a steady flow of clients, and I was really considering quitting back then,” said Murphy. “On top of that, some of my friends were giving me a hard time, saying I wasn’t that good at cutting and never would be, but my Uncle and the other barbers at the shop convinced me to keep at it, and I kept practicing, and the customers eventually came.”

Not only did the patrons start lining up for a Murphy haircut, but so too did the job offers.

Eventually, he landed a business partner, and set up a shop at 90 Gidney Avenue in Newburgh in 2016. However, the itch to go it alone, being his own boss could not be ignored. Earlier this year, he heeded the call, securing his very own shop on Broadway. After 24 years of working for others (four of them with a business partner), the reality of now solely owning the newly opened (November 2, 2020) Krispy Fresh Cutz business could not feel any more right.

“I wanted to be my own man, and really see how it was operating things on my own,” said Master Barber Murphy, who was awarded the esteemed title for the number of hours he has worked in the trade. “I’m really happy with how it has been going so far.”

Witnessing the growth in the Historic District of the City of Newburgh and eager to be a part of it as well, Murphy specifically had his eyes (and heart) for his shop’s location zoned in on Broadway. He also knew there were other must-have intangibles.

“It’s a real family atmosphere here, one where you can bring your kids in and socialize with nice conversation without foul language,” explained Murphy, who couldn’t be more grateful to be located next door to Chiropracter John Fisher who he often frequents for ailments unique to the barber vocation. “We all really like to have a good time here and make the experience as fun and memorable as possible for our customers.”

For Murphy and his crew, which includes; Master Barber, Tyrone Pickett as well as apprentices Jarell Warren and Quincy Branch, that barbershop experience, amidst the Pandemic, also places health and safety as top priorities. Despite some of the necessary adjustments, he and his staff refuse to sacrifice one bit when it comes to delivering top quality and expert diligence each time one of their customers takes a seat.

“It’s hard right now because we are only allowed to have five customers in the shop at a time, which can affect the overall atmosphere; for some clients we have to go to their cars and alert them to it being their turn; while others just can’t come here at all right now because they are being super careful,” explained Murphy. “I really want to create a vibe here where all my customers are comfortable and look forward to coming back because they see it as a positive experience.”

Murphy’s goals with his new barber shop don’t stop there. A firm believer in giving back, specifically to the youth, Murphy and his former Gidney Avenue locale were proud of the free back-to-school haircuts and refreshments they offered (pre-Pandemic) to local elementary students each fall. His expansive resume further includes traveling to the Goshen Youth Jail, providing his grooming expertise to its inmates as well as cutting locks of military personnel at the nearby Stewart Base. Now, at age 40, and equipped with almost 25 years of experience in the field, Murphy aspires to one day enter the teaching end of his craft. After all, it’s an avenue that provided so much to his prosperity, providing financial and spiritual stability, along with a vital sense of direction and purpose.

“I really want to teach kids to cut hair and stay out of trouble,” reflected Murphy from behind his barber stool. “I want them to see that there is more to life than the streets, and that being a barber is not just cutting hair but a way of expressing yourself.”

For Murphy, the rewards and pride he gleans from the barbershop vocation extend even further.

“The old school barber shop places like this one are just so important to have around, especially in places like Newburgh,” affirmed Murphy as he surveyed the interior of his Broadway business. “In so many ways, they teach us to be better men, as generations of people come to them, and ultimately, they help to bring the community together in a positive way.”

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