Marlen Ramos has become the new owner of Ralph’s Fifth Avenue Haircutting after being a longtime employee.
Ramos has a long history of cutting hair. Born in Honduras, she would cut the hair of her relatives and neighbors from a young age.
“Then my mother put me into school for learning,” said Ramos. “Everyone that was around me, I would give haircuts.”
Eventually, she moved to the Bronx and worked at a barbershop for 10 years prior to moving to Westchester.
Before Ramos, Ralph’s was under the ownership of Frank La Spisa for nineteen years. While he still works at Ralph’s a few days a week, he decided to offer the business up to Ramos, who was in the shop more often.
“Frank could not be around because of something he needed to do,” she said. “He asked me, ‘Do you want to buy the shop?’ and I said yes!”
Ralph’s has been a successful barbershop in Pelham for decades due to its welcoming environment and great staff.
“I like everything here,” said Ramos. “This is my hobby, my job.”
Ralph’s was closed for three months at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was tough for the business and its employees. Throughout it all, there were people hoping to get haircuts.
“Many people called every day to the shop, and they called to my cell phone,” said Ramos. “I repeated the same story to everybody many times a day. I couldn’t do anything.”
Since reopening, Ralph’s has made various changes to its business, including the creation of a website that allows customers to make appointments online and choose which barber they want. As a result, it has seen continued success.