PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dean’s Beauty Salon & Barbershop is likely the oldest Black-owned business in Oregon.
Kim Brown is the third generation to run the family business. She grew up at Dean’s Beauty Salon in Northeast Portland, which was founded in 1954 by her grandparents Benjamin and Mary “Rose” Dean from Birmingham, Alabama.
Benjamin came to Oregon in the 1940s to work in the Kaiser shipyards, as did many Black families who settled in Portland. Rose started doing hair at home and Benjamin got his barber’s license.
Dean’s Beauty Salon & Barbershop was born.
“They wanted generational wealth in their family and that’s pretty much what they did,” said Kim.
With four generations of clients, Dean’s became a community space where African-Americans could get more than a haircut or a style. If you needed a babysitter, a plumber, a lively conversation, even a job, Dean’s was a good place