Entrepreneur of the Year 2023: Keenan Fisher took no shortcuts with Tommy Gun’s Barbershop

Kelowna-based Tommy Gun's was inspired by Fisher's family biz

The Kickoff: Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, Keenan Fisher was put to work early. His parents were owners of a dog treat factory in Alberta, and, at 12 years old, Fisher was tasked with cooking, packing and shipping dog treats all by himself. “It probably didn’t meet all the labour laws,” he jokes.

Fisher’s parents transitioned into hair by founding (and then franchising) Chatters Salon. They moved a lot as a family to open new locations around Canada, and after earning a business degree from UBC in 2007, Fisher officially joined the family business.

But he quickly noticed a gap in the industry. “There weren’t any barbershops catering to the modern needs of those seeking a barber experience,” he says, “and so that’s how the idea for Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop was born.”

Action Plan: The name of the Kelowna-based business, explains Fisher, is meant to represent a cool and edgy brand that combines the nostalgia of a classic barbershop with modern amenities (like in-mirror TVs), complimentary beverages and internationally trained barbers. Since the first store opened in 2009, Fisher helped scale the business to more than 90 global locations and over 1,000 employees.

He’s particularly proud of the “all-in” culture he helped build at Tommy Gun’s. During the pandemic, he says, the team demonstrated a “herculean effort”: franchise owners started building dividers for 70-plus Tommy Gun’s locations and executives started personally delivering U-Hauls of PPE.

He may not cut hair himself, but as managing partner, Fisher prefers empowering teams and leading from the front. “I’m willing to get in there and make it happen,” he says.

Closing Statement: Tommy Gun’s is generating around $90 million in sales and expansion is rapid. “We’re growing at a pace of 15 to 20 percent over our peak year pre-pandemic,” adds Fisher, “and we believe we’ll be able to double our network in the next four years.”


Describe your dream employee in three words:

Creative, relentless and honest.

Do you have any embarrassing obsessions?

I’m obsessed with sneakers and have been since I was a kid. I have way too many pairs—more than I’ll ever wear out.

After work, we can find you…

With my family playing basketball. Or watching them play basketball.