At only 28, Raquel Dispenziere may be one of Riverhead’s youngest entrepreneurs, but her business savvy belies her years.

Dispenziere, owner of Gabriel Loren the Salon, has taught college classes on the business of salon management in California, where she lived for 10 years before moving back to Riverhead earlier this year.

Dispenziere opened the doors of her new shop on Howell Avenue for the first time this morning. Along with her father Mike, sister Chelsea and stepmother Susan Tocci, Dispenziere has been working to build, equip and decorate the 1,400-square-foot space for the past few months. The result is a sleek, modern space with eight work stations.

“I had so much help from my family. I could not have done this without them,” Dispenziere said.

2014_1227_gabriel_loren1She already has three stylists at work — Kaitlyn Hernandez, Marielle Pugliese and Ashley Fogarty — and says several others will be joining the staff shortly.

“They’re all from Riverhead, too,” Dispenziere said. “It’s great to be home.”

Gabriel Loren the Salon — named for her young son Gabriel — features a Paul Mitchell color bar where customers can peruse the available options.

“Our focus is to do great color,” Dispenziere said, “but we’re a multi-service salon for everyone — all different hair types, all ethnicities. Men are welcome also.”

The salon will also offer facials and massage services in private rooms that are not yet furnished. She was concentrating on getting the salon itself in shape for opening day, Dispenziere explained.

2014_1227_gabriel_loren2Gabriel Loren the Salon will celebrate its grand opening on January 10 with a ribbon-cutting, special promotions and giveaways, Dispenziere said. The salon is located at 215 Howell Avenue, across from town hall. The freestanding building it occupies had been vacant for several years; it was last occupied by a laundromat.

More information about the grand opening will be posted to the salon’s Facebook page.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.