A Restored Pratt Street
Through improved and restored retail storefronts, renovated residential spaces, and curated programming, Pratt St is being rediscovered.
If you find yourself searching for high-quality, long-lasting, timeless looks, search no further than Pratt Street’s own Morneault’s Stackpole Moore Tryon. This upscale boutique has been a staple of the Hartford community for 115 years and has always been family-owned and operated. The store is currently owned and run by Jody and Ron Morneault, both tireless advocates for their Downtown Hartford community.
A Love Affair with Retail
Jody and Ron purchased the store about 15 years ago. Jody never planned for working in retail to become a career, but after taking a part-time job at Westfarms Mall and becoming the first woman to work in menswear at Langley’s, she fell in love with the trade. Ron is a lifelong Hartford resident who has worked in the Downtown Hartford retail scene since he was 16 years old. His years of experience led him to own and run his own business, and he recruited Jody to come work for him.
In the years since, the couple has won awards from Hartford Magazine, the Hartford Advocate, Connecticut Magazine, and the Law Tribune. They’ve also garnered high-level clients such as Nancy Pelosi, and other movers and shakers, legislators, and politicians. “We’re honored by the support we’ve gotten locally and regionally, but the most important thing we do is dress people who want to look professional in the workplace,” says Jody.
Upon beginning to work in Downtown Hartford, Jody saw an immediate need not only to serve their clients but to find ways to support the rest of their Downtown community. She and Ron began volunteering with various organizations, and once they saw the impact that their tireless work had, they were hooked and had a tie to Hartford that could not be broken. “The city got into my blood,” she says.”Hartford is part of who we are. We want to help our community, whether it be supporting the homeless population, assisting people that aren’t being paid a living wage, aiding various nonprofits—we’ve been so involved, and we would be hard-pressed to leave.”
As with most retail, the pandemic has been incredibly difficult for Jody and Ron. However, when asked about her fears, her answer may surprise you: “Any time I feel we could possibly lose the business, the thing that makes me most upset is the thought that we would have to leave the people we love and the community; we love.”
Warmth is one of the words that immediately come to mind when entering Morneault’s Stackpole Moore Tryon. On any given day, before being greeted by any staff, Jody and Ron’s fur baby (and queen of the store), Maggie, will be at the front door wagging her tail and searching for scratches. Shoppers are offered coffee, a glass of wine, or snacks. The store is also dog-friendly—local pups come in to visit all the time for a treat, some water, and some snuggles. During the holidays, they like to bring in local artisans to showcase their work and goods. This year, you can find Wood and Stone, owned by West End resident Rob Davis. He makes vintage wine racks out of anything—you name it, he’s made it. Currently on display are wine racks made from ski racks, guitars, and sleds, but he can also make one using any personal item you provide him.
This retail gem carries curated products that you won’t find at the mall. All of their merchandise is coordinated and follows the term “continuity of buying.” This means that if you’ve been a customer from 2, 5, or 10 years ago, all the clothing you’ve ever purchased will continue to match with another item years after. Their number one concern is carrying quality items—these are wardrobe staples you will have for years and years to come. Her team of staff is so in tune with their customers that if a family member comes in, the staff will know the size, color, and style that that person will like. “We get almost zero returns after Christmas,” Jody says. “We also offer free tailoring on regular price merchandise along with free gift wrapping.”
Mary, the Store Manager, has been an employee at the shop for 20 years. She is so tuned into her clientele that she can pick out clothing before they even come in. This is all done by appointment—think personal shopping, but brought to the next level. Jody and Ron source their merchandise from Canada, France, Italy, Austria, and the USA. This is why you’ll never find a shortage of inventory—they buy from places that send the clothes straight from that country.
To say that Morneault’s Stackpole Moore Tryon is “all about the customer” is an understatement. Curbside pickup has always been an option at the store, but the service became more popular during the pandemic. They now also offer FaceTime or Zoom shopping experiences. Their staff will come in early or stay open late for clients. Ron does custom fittings for men (which he’s done for over 40 years), and they can make custom pieces for anybody—men or women.Go Back