By MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price
reSET and Hands On Hartford have collaborated to create a free Food Incubator program that supports Hartford-area entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to launch or grow food-based businesses. The program connects them with experienced mentors, potential investors, and access to resources, including shared kitchen spaces.
At the heart of the program is the goal of building a more vibrant and diverse Hartford. To that end, the Food Incubator prioritizes Hartford residents, Hartford-based businesses, food businesses that primarily serve Hartford residents, and businesses owned by women and people of color.
The Food Incubator program is supported by Launch Hartford and the Hartford Culinary Collaborative, which includes reSET, Hands On Hartford, Forge City Works, KNOX, Community Solutions, Swift Factory, Breakfast Lunch & Dinner, and Parkville Market.
“We’re beyond excited to have this type of programming here in Hartford,” enthused Shannon Mumley, Director of Small Business Development at the Hartford Chamber of Commerce. “So much of our work supporting small businesses in Hartford includes restaurants and cafés.”
In addition to providing access to resources and mentors, the Food Incubator also features workshops and events, like the Eat Up Meet Up, where participants can connect with likeminded Greater Hartford food entrepreneurs, form possible collaborations, and provide tips, ideas, and support.
“While food entrepreneurs and small business owners have been struggling through the pandemic, we’ve also seen them launching and thriving,” notes Hartford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julio Concepcion. “Efforts like the Food Incubator help encourage and support our local community of small business owners—not only by supporting the food-based business owners, but also by feeding our community and adding to the vibrancy that makes Hartford a unique place for all types of dining.”