In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Hartford Chamber of Commerce is highlighting local Hispanic business owners and community drivers.
Music lover and Hartford South End resident Tony Ramos began his entertainment company My Life Your Entertainment in 2009 while sitting in Hartford coffee shop La Paloma. Driven by human connections and relationships, Tony works with local non-profits, schools, and corporations to provide music services as well as weddings and private events. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price spoke with Tony Ramos about his involvement with Hartford.
NAN PRICE: Tell us about your connection to the Hartford community and the impact you’re making here.
TONY RAMOS: I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2009. My passion for the entertainment industry started young. I’ve worked with various non-profits and companies in Hartford such as United Way Central and Northeastern Connecticut, Hartford Public Schools, Police Athletic League, Aetna, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, The Claro Group, and COMPASS Youth Collaborative, through which I coached middle school basketball at Burns Latino Studies Academy for a few years. I also have provided DJ services for our past Mayors of Hartford.
Four years ago, I met with Don Mancini, the owner of Red Rock Tavern, and introduced a new concept to him. That idea was Brunch & Chill, which is now an event that occurs every Sunday from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. When COVID-19 hit, we had to stop; however, we have been back since May 24, 2020. You can drive by and see the patio full of people enjoying themselves and indulging in delicious brunch food and drink items.
NAN: Why Hartford?
TONY: I’ve always been connected to Hartford since I was a young child. My father, Tony, had multiple restaurants on Park Street. I can remember going there after school to hang out and eat. I lived in West Hartford, so I loved bringing my friends to the restaurants so they could experience the Latino and Hartford culture like I did.
When I first started my business, I used to work out of La Paloma in the Frog Hollow neighborhood. There is where I met new people and connected to the various agencies and companies I work with. I was always welcomed and everyone who came in felt like family.
There are ton of things to do in the city. We have beautiful parks such as Elizabeth Park and Bushnell Park. Both have great events during the summer months for families. We’re lucky to have museums like the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and the Connecticut Science Center to engage our young people and families. And, you can’t forget the amazing food spots all over. My favorite is Red Rock Tavern followed by Story and Soil Coffee for a delicious Spanish latte.
NAN: How do we tell Hartford’s story?
TONY: This takes me back to the 1990s where downtown Hartford was the place to be and had many thriving businesses. You had the Civic Center with various stores. Pratt Street, which had GAP and Record Express, where I always knew I could get the latest cassettes and records.
The people who live and breathe Hartford have to tell the story. We know it better than others because we feel what is happening all around us. The diversity of Hartford is beautiful. There are so many different nationalities among us with different perspectives.
NAN: Where do you see the future of Hartford?
TONY: I love driving around the city and seeing new developments popping up. I’m happy to see that new apartments are being developed in different areas, which will allow for more people to move into our city, which will bring in additional revenue to our city.
Parkville Market really has opened the eyes of folks who don’t live in the city. We need spaces like this to bring people back to Hartford to experience all that we have to offer.