Pacific Marble and Granite, Middletown, Conn.

By K. Schipper

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Carmelo Bramato has always been lucky in business.

When he and wife Marisa opened a tile shop 20 years ago, he was able to quit his other job in a matter of weeks.

A couple years later, when the couple decided to add countertops and vanities to their business mix, Pacific Marble and Granite took off right away. Even the decision to do some of their own importing paid off.

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So, last year, when they considering growing the business again, the Bramatos added … a restaurant, and put it right in the space that served as the tile shop and showroom all those years.

To some, it might not seem like a sound business decision, especially when Carmelo Bramato explains that money he’d earmarked for a CNC machine went into launching Esca (which means “to lure” in Italian).

However, the Bramatos are first and foremost about family, even with the one daughter who decided to follow her dreams outside the stone industry.

Besides, the CNC should be installed sometime this summer.

OLD IDEA

Like many immigrants from Italy, Carmelo Bramato came to this country with stone in his blood. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that it took him so long to move into the industry.

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In his case, he first learned the craft from an uncle.

“When I was a little kid, I remember working with my uncle during the summertime,” he says. “They had a shop where they used to do a lot of marble tile and marble and granite countertops, stuff like that. When I was out of school I’d go with them, and I always had the idea to open my own tile store.”

After moving to the Middletown area in 1978, Bramato found himself working at a machine-tool company that specialized in aircraft engines. However, the idea of a tile shop didn’t go away, and in 1990 the Bramatos opened their own doors for business.