Filippo or Phil Marsala was the grandfather of Phil's Barber Shop owner, Joe Randazzo. Phil was born near Palermo, Sicily in 1895 and was one of 8 siblings. At just 7 years old, he was sent to a barber as an apprentice where he learned his profession. When he was 12, Phil and his family moved to Chicago where he attended school and learned to read and write in both English and Italian.
Phil spent a brief time in California working as a barber. After returning to Michigan, where his family had settled, he met a young widow, Mary at a Christmas party at the town hall. After writing a letter to Mary declaring his feelings for her, and sending his two brothers to ask for her hand in marriage, the two were wed and lived in Mary's house from her first husband in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
The front room of their home was converted into a two-chair barber shop in 1931 and Phil's Barber Shop was established.