Having been a Wilmington resident for more than a decade, Ria Luongo said she already knew that it was a great town to live in. But this week, she received further confirmation of that as she officially opened the doors of her new hair salon.
On Thursday, Ria and Jim Luongo celebrated the grand opening of Jazz 3 Hair Design in the recently built One Church Street building. As members of the Chamber of Commerce joined town officials in welcoming the town’s newest business, Ria said it was an emotional day and she couldn't help but getting choked up by the support.
“It was the most amazing, wonderful exerience I’ve ever had in owning a business in the last 20 years,” she said. “I’ve never been a part of something like this in all of these years. It was very touching, and it’s nice to be a part of this community.”
Ria opened her first salon, called All That Jazz, about 20 years ago in Saugus. In 2000, having recently moved to Wilmington, Ria and Jim opened Jazz and Company in North Reading, a business she ran for several years before finding out she was having triplets.
When her children entered school full-time, Luongo was able to run a two-chair salon called Jazz 3 as a way to stay in the business. But making the move to a bigger venue was the ultimate goal for Ria, a goal that came to fruition on Thursday.
One of the most important aspects of running her salon is making customers feel like home, Ria said.
“I love making people happy and making them feel good about themselves,” said Ria. “I have a lot of passion for what I do, and because of that, this doesn’t feel like work for me. We’re a family salon, and that’s very important to me. Everyone who walks in the door is part of the family.”
While Ria works as a stylist and Jim Luongo keeps the books for Jazz 3, they’ll also be joined by a pair of employees. Lori Lytle has worked with Ria for several years now, and she will continue to do so as a barber stylist. Danielle Sharp will also work in the salon as a stylist.
Having lived in Wilmington for about 15 years, Ria said she’s seen first hand what makes the town a great place to live and work. That’s why she said she plans on staying for a long time.
“We’re all about the town and the community. I have roots here,” said Ria. “What I like about Wilmington is that it’s a family oriented town of hard working people who take pride in their homes. I like what the community stands for. We just love everything about it, which is why we’ll probably be here for the rest of our lives.”