Tony graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy and College and then attended Hampton University, where he studied graphic design. “I originally wanted to focus on advertising and corporate identity. It was a very difficult field to break into and when you realize that the starting pay doesn’t equate to a suitable living wage, you start looking for other avenues. Eventually, I made the full-time transition into the hospitality business and never looked back, working at dive bars, clubs, and neighborhood establishments before landing an excellent bar position. Shortly after I began working with them, I became the corporate bar trainer for all 14 locations.”
Once behind the bar, Tony knew he was home. “What keeps me involved in the hospitality business is the ability to make people happy and, in a sense, be the lightning rod for a great time to be had by everyone around. I’ve always said that there are no strangers at my bar, just friends that I haven’t met yet. Throw in the occasional drink that I make or pour, and it’s kind of a no-brainer for me. That’s what I love about it as well, that there is never a dull moment and you can essentially choose your own adventure in how you want to branch out and grow in the business.”
Tony vividly remember the first night he tried Angel’s Envy. “About 5 years ago, I sat down in a pre-shift meeting and had the opportunity to try a new whiskey that we had acquired. Instantly blown away by this unique dram, I purchased a bottle the next day. Fast-forward to the end of a busy night, paperwork done, kicking back with coworkers and friends, I break open the bottle to share. We laugh, we relax, we imbibe (responsibly), and we decompress. I look over to pour one last nip…bottle done. We collectively enjoyed each other’s time over this bottle in a way that made it seem as if time had stood still, just for us and it was awesome! Since that day I have considered this whiskey a personal favorite and a staple in my rotation. I even let my imagination run with thoughts of working with this brand and its family in the future, and here I am!”
When he’s not working, Tony loves spending time with his family. “My wife and I have an awesome 3 1/2 year old son who constantly keeps us on our toes. I’m a HUGE DC sports fan. I’ve had season tickets for the Redskins since 1988, and I continue to go to every home game. I’m also big on the Nationals, Capitals, and Wizards. I grew up playing every sport I could so it is only natural that it stays a part of my life. I should’ve mentioned this first but my biggest love is for the beach, specifically Hatteras Island, NC. My wife’s family has been going there for over 50 years and now we have taken the torch and started our own annual tradition with family and friends.” Look for Tony wherever Angel’s Envy is being poured in Virginia, and be sure to talk with him over a drink. He’s worth getting to know.