Second Generation Haircare Business Continues To Flourish After 76 Years

Photo courtesy of Tops Friendly Markets.

Tops Honors Local Black Run Businesses During Black History Month

Williamsville, NY – Most of us ponder at length what we want to be when we grow up. But Bernard Bronner knew from the time he was in diapers his destiny – to run the legacy of his father’s haircare business.

“I literally crawled into the business,” he laughed, telling a Tops spokeswoman. “There was no turning back.”

Bernard’s father, Dr. Nathanial Bronner, alongside his brother Arthur and sister Emma began the business 76 years ago in Atlanta, GA. It started as a cosmetology school at the Butler Street YMCA. Subsequently, the first Bronner Bros. Trade Show was born, with approximately 300 people in attendance.

As their popularity grew, the show moved from the YMCA to the Royal Peacock Social Club and other larger venues to where it is today- the Georgia World Congress Center.

“The show attracted many well-renowned speakers, including Jackie Robinson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dr. Benjamin Mays,” Bernard tells Tops. His father combed the country each year to bring positive, motivating people to the show. Today the show welcomes over 30,000 people.

This year the Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show will take place April 1-3, welcoming over 200 exhibitors and offering over 100 classes.

Seeing the size and scope of the company today makes it hard to believe that it once grew from modest beginnings; however, the product line slowly expanded, offering multicultural hair care products for both retail and professional customers. Today they have nearly 100 products in their line, many of which are available on Tops shelves.

“One of the advantages my brothers and I had coming into the family business is we didn’t have to start from scratch because we had great shoulders to build from. A lot of first-generation mistakes we were able to learn from,” Bernard noted.

And that legacy his father and now that Bernard and his brothers are building will continue for generations to come. Today the company employs over 100 employees, many of which are third-generation.

“Early on, the most challenging thing for me was learning how to do the training because we already knew how the business would work learning from those before us. So we focused our energy on learning the trends. I’m blessed because it never felt like a job. We have fun and are just enjoying life.’

  When asked what advice he would give someone just starting their own business, it was sage:

“Whatever they do, they need to start small. Starting small allows you to make mistakes and tweak things before going on to the next step. When my brothers and I were in our 20s and 30s, we were looking for super overnight success and to start huge. That’s not the way to go about it. If you have $10,000 – do a $1,000 business plan. Start small and get it right before you go further.”

Bernard’s enthusiasm for the empire his father, aunts, and uncles have built is palpable as is his overall gusto for life.

“I am most proud that I have led this company for 40 years, and the family and employees are happy. The business is still rolling, we’re creating opportunities and excitement, and we’re just beginning! This is a continuation of a great legacy!”

To purchase Bronner Bros. Products, visit most Tops Friendly Markets or to learn more about the legacy, visit

About Tops Markets

Based in Williamsville, NY, Tops Markets currently operates 149 grocery stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, including five run by franchisees. As the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York, with over 14,000 associates, the company is dedicated to providing sustainably sourced, high-quality products while helping its communities flourish via support for programs that eradicate hunger and disease, educate youth, and reduce environmental waste and energy consumption. For more information, visit


missing or outdated ad config for local savings

Print this entry