MR Barbers won the Best Group of Business category at the inaugural NHF (National Hairdressing Federation) Business Awards, which were held at the VOX conference centre in Birmingham.
Although it has been in existence for 75 years and is the main governing body for the hairdressing business, it was the first time the NHF has staged the awards.
MR Barbers was jointly founded by Karl Foster and his childhood friend Sam Prior, who lives in Linton and went to Ashdon Primary School before moving to Saffron Walden High School, where the two met.
Their first shop opened in 1995 in Saffron Walden, followed by another in Haverhill in 2000.
Another MR Barbers soon opened in Stansted but it wasn’t until 2014 that the Bury St Edmunds shop opened, after which the business expanded quickly.
MR Barbers now has 19 shops in all, 17 in either Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex or Herts, plus two more in Cheshire.
Sam, 38, said: “We’ve got about ten that are franchised and the others are owned by us as a company (including the Haverhill shop in Queens Street that is managed by a colleague of 20 years, Paul Cook).
“It (the award) helps because it gives us some recognition as to what we are doing and we’ve never won an award before.”
The links between Haverhill and MR Barbers are very strong, added Sam.
Mark Lovell, who is from the town and also plays football for West Wratting, has the franchise for shops in Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury and Stowmarket, while another man from the town owns the franchises in Newmarket and Ely.