September 19, 2022

Local Brewery Pivots, Perseveres, and Prospers

“Getting through the hurdles of opening the business seemed almost insurmountable. But when I look back, they’re a lot of the challenges anybody trying to get into this business faces,” admits Labyrinth Brewing Co-Owner Adam Delaura. “We’re now past the point we were before the pandemic.”

September 8, 2020

From Baker to Business Owner

“If I can do it, anybody can do it. And if something’s not working out for you, you can always reinvent yourself,” advises Little Owls Bakery Owner Stephanie Barnes.

August 24, 2022

CT Startup Serves Bespoke Scoops and Sprinkles

I always knew I wanted to be my own boss and create something cool to market to people.

July 26, 2022

Plant-Based Business Incubates and Thrives

Find out how GiGi Lawrence channeled her love of cooking and veganism into RastaRant Experience, a thriving business that provides Caribbean-infused, plant-based meals.

July 11, 2022

CT Food Entrepreneur Sets and Achieves Goals

“As long as you’re consistent and dedicated, you can always achieve your goal. It may take time, but being consistent every single day will get you one step closer to that goal,” advises CrAves By Aves Founder Avery Beamon.

July 7, 2022

Enthusiastic Foodie Incubates and Grows Her Business

“The best advice I can give anyone is to listen to yourself and stick to your gut and know what you want to do. When you’re authentic, your people will find you,” advises My Vegan List LLC Founder R’Ryana DeCordova

June 28, 2022

Creating Connecticut’s First Libation Library

“The networks are amazing in Connecticut, especially in the Hartford area with all these youth organizations, business groups, chambers of commerce—everybody’s been welcoming us with open arms,” says Moxi On the Rocks Founder Tomas Nenorta.

May 31, 2022

Celebrate Juneteenth By Giving Back

On Saturday, June 18, the Berkins Family is hosting Juneteenth 2022 – Berkins Family Fund Inaugural Event at their Berkins On Main location in the Wadsworth Antheneum. “Juneteenth is a time for jubilation,” emphasizes co-owner Andréa Hawkins. “Not only that, the historic date marks the seventh anniversary of our first café launch. We’re amplifying an historic date, celebrating our evolution, and creating an opportunity to support the Berkins Family Fund, which we hope will enable others like us to do good in the community.”

April 18, 2022

CT Family Business Seoul BBQ

Seoul BBQ Owner Mark Moon shares about his journey “from office to kitchen” when he stepped in to run his family’s business.

March 31. 2022

Meet Forge City Works New Executive Director Ben Dubow

“The dynamics are shifting and changing, which creates a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to figure out what’s next and address the needs of this new population that’s living in Hartford,” says Executive Director Ben Dubow.

February 10, 2022

From Cottage License to Bakery Owner

“Definitely ask for help. It’s out there. If you don’t know where to look, your local chamber of commerce or town are a great place to start. There’s always somebody who can help you. Don’t be afraid to ask,” advises Bakery On Maple Founder Erika Stirk.

January 21, 2022

CT Startup Invites You To Enjoy A Proper Cup Of Tea

“When I decided I wanted to do something else, I was excited at the prospect of making my dream come true, but I also realized I needed to get some information I didn’t have,” explains Take Tea Owner Nann Thomson, who worked with a SCORE mentor to refine her business plan.

November 1, 2021

Semilla Café + Studio Creates Community

“I’m just glad that we’re able to do what we’re doing here and grateful for people wanting to utilize and interact with the space and being supportive of the way we’re trying to go about operating the space,” says Semilla Café + Studio Co-Owner Aimee Chambers.

October 28, 2021

CT Butchers, Brewers, Bakers, and Coffee Makers

Local butchers, brewers, bakers, and coffee makers—from a cottage licensed home baker to a microbakery to a small businesses that pivoted to better serve its customers—provide insight about starting and growing these types of small businesses in the Hartford Region.

October 22, 2021

Baking Enthusiast, Community Supporter, Food Entrepreneur

Find out how Bria Day turned her passion for baking and giving back to the community into Disheveled Diva, a cottage food business that creates bespoke sweet treats and makes a local impact.

October 20, 2021

Ovelle Brings Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee to Connecticut

“I’ve always been entrepreneurial. It feeds my spirit and soul,” says Ovelle Coffee Co-Founder Sasha Fay.

October 19, 2020

Small State Provisions Finds Its Home at GastroPark in West Hartford

"In terms of the future, I want to be a place where people can come and feel connected and have a great experience," says Small State Provisions Founder Kevin Masse.

October 12, 2021

Specialty Coffee Company Aims to Diversify The Food And Beverage Industry

“From a traditional point of view, starting this business was challenging because we’re in a pandemic. But my passion for business ownership, coffee, our community, and making an impact made it easier,” says Jermaine Frazer-Phillips of Big Up Brew.

September 21, 2021

Hartford-Based Startup Bakery is Blooming

“Something we constantly remind ourselves is to stay true to the vision and the initial goals that we had set out,” says Alex Pilon of Bloom Bake Shop. “As a family-run business, communication is really important.”

September 14, 2021

Hartford-Based Phantom Brewing Company

“Phantom Brewing loves being part of the beer community in Connecticut. We love being on the scene and contributing as much as we can,” says Co-Owner and Head Brewer Jonathan Patrei.

September 7, 2021

Local Juice Bar Meets Community Needs In Many Ways

“A good business plan is beneficial, even if it’s not very specific,” advises Liquid Nirvana Owner Rosy Kapur. “Just having an idea of your financial strategy, marketing strategy, and operational strategy helps.”

July 19, 2021

Hartford River Cruises Provides a New Way of Touring the Region

"Right now, the Connecticut River is teaming with all kinds of wildlife. On the boat, you get a much better appreciation for this natural resource that is flowing right through your city," emphasizes Hartford River Cruises Founder Brian Downey.

May 20, 2021

Dom’s Coffee Talks Success, Growth, and Expansion

“I think with everything in life, especially with business, you don’t need to be afraid to ask,” advises Dom’s Coffee Co-Owner Andrius Plankis.

April 12, 2021

Capital Ice Cream—A Happy Place in Hartford

"Do the work, stretch yourself beyond your own expectations, and be kind at all times," advises Capital Ice Cream Co-Owner Chantell Boissiere-Kelly.

April 2, 2021

Connecticut Forum Leadership Transition Inspires and Empowers

“In terms of an entrepreneurial spirit, The Forum lives in that space. We’re always thinking about how to do things better, newer, and with more impact and ways to extend our mission, our reach, and our brand,” explains Ruth Cullen, who will step into an Executive Director role in June with Co-Founder and CEO Doris Sugarman steps aside.

April 1, 2021

Connecticut’s Coffee Scene Is Brewing

The Hartford Region has plenty of great coffee shops to keep us fueled—whether we’re working from the office or working from home.

March 29, 2021

Perfect Poundcakes Finds Success in East Hartford

Find out how Perfect Poundcakes Founder Tamika Mitchell took a well-loved family recipe and turned it into a thriving bakery.

March 29, 2021

Startup Brewery and Roastery Coming to West Hartford

“The concept has been to create a communal gathering place with a community-based feeling where you can support local. A place to connect with your community, sip craft beverages, and share your lives/thoughts/ideas,” says WeHa Brewing and Roasting Founder Cody McCormack.

February 19, 2021

CT Entrepreneur Brings Cajun Restaurant to Greater Hartford

“Being able to go out on my own is something I love doing. I don’t mind the risk. You have to be able to take risk if you’re going to open a restaurant, especially during COVID-19,” says Roux Cajun Eatery Owner Stephanie Civitillo.

February 16, 2021

West Hartford Coffee Entrepreneur Makes an Impact

“The beauty of entrepreneurship is the flexibility. This year, if we want to go in a different direction, we can. There’s nothing that binds us and it opens these new opportunities,” says J.René Coffee Roasters and Victus Coffee Principal Owner José René Martínez.

January 19, 2021

El Pollo Guapo Grows Business with Three Locations in the Hartford Region

El Pollo Guapo Co-Owners Heather and Roy Riedl share about their business growth and plans to continue takeout to keep the community well fed.

January 12, 2021

Winter Support for CT Restaurants

With winter’s chilly weather, now, more than ever, we need to help our local restaurants stay afloat.

January 4, 2021

Hartford Organizations Collaborate to Create Unique Experiential Dining Experiences

Find out how Lumi Agency and weHartford Founder Melissa Melonson collaborated with the Hartford Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations to create experiential events.

October 30, 2020

CT Photographer Launches Low-Waste Lifestyle Brand

“I love to work with clients who have mission-based companies like mine,” explains Allegra Anderson, who recently launched Allegra Anderson Home and Lifestyle.

August 26, 2020

Hartford Prints! Is Happy on Pratt

“Having a business in downtown Hartford, we’ve found the community in Hartford is always so supportive,” says Hartford Prints! Co-Owner Rory Gale.

July 23, 2020

Food Entrepreneur Brings Experiential Dining to West Hartford

“Our ability to provide a large, open outdoor space where people can socially distance dine and access mobile outdoor kitchens that are being operated by far fewer individuals, I think, is ultimately a wise thing,” says GastroPark co-founder Tate Norden.

July 10, 2020

Hartford Has Colt Park

Designated as part of the Colt Industrial District, Colt Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in June 1976.

July 2, 2020

Helping Sustain Historic Keney Park

“I enjoy the work I do because I feel our parks are our saving grace. They’re how we can turn our cities around and make them into destinations,” says Keney Park Sustainability Project Founder/Executive Director Herb Virgo.

July 1, 2020

Riverfront Recapture: A Regional Asset

“We’re thrilled that our Riverfront Park system is more popular than ever before,” says Michael Zaleski, President & CEO Riverfront Recapture, Inc.

June 22, 2020

Hartford’s Own Sea Tea Improv

“We’re proud to be part of a growing, healthy, exciting, artistic community in Hartford,” says Sea Tea Improv Co-Founding Member and Managing Director Julia Pistell.

June 18, 2020

CLARO Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride

“We welcome all types of people from every race, gender, and orientation,” says CLARO Marketing Director Jalmar DeDios.

June 1, 2020

Parkville Market Is Open for Business

“Every business, large or small, is finding a way to forge ahead and, for us, not opening was not an option,” says Director of Operations Chelsea Mouta.

May 20, 2020

Hartford Restaurant Embraces Opportunity During Challenging Times

“We’re in a situation we can’t control and how you come out of it is going to define your business,” says Place 2 Be Owner Gina Luari.

March 25, 2020

Rebel Dog Coffee Founders Share Entrepreneurial Experience

Rebel Dog Coffee co-owners Peter Lemnotis and Harrison Poltorak and Digital and Community Manager Kaitlin Higgins share about the business’ growth since its 2017 launch.

March 18, 2020

Hartford-Based Eatery and Catering Company Stella’s and Mazie’s

Stella’s and Mazie’s has been cooking and serving African-American, West African, and Caribbean food to takeout or enjoy at Stella’s Eatery on Capital Avenue or for catered events through Mazie’s Catering since the two chefs decided to go into business together in 2016.

Hartford Community Theater Explores Social Justice

ActUp Theater is intentionally located in the inner-city of Hartford, CT, where many have limited or no access to quality arts. One of our driving forces is Hartford is where we call home.

Hartford Has The Wadsworth

“We’re becoming a more visitor-focused organization than we’ve ever been in our history. That, in itself, is innovation. And, despite what people sometimes say, Connecticut has always been a place of innovation,” says Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art Director and CEO Tom Loughman.

Hartford’s Charter Oak Cultural Center

Find out how Charter Oak Cultural Center makes arts and culture accessible to everyone in Greater Hartford—and beyond. Read our interview with director Rabbi Donna Berman.

Serial Entrepreneurs Open Pokeworks Location in West Hartford

Find out how and why serial entrepreneurs and lifelong friends Sonny Chen and Max Condren decided to open Pokeworks – West Hartford.

December 11, 2019

CT Coffee Shop Creates and Supports Local Community

For Silk City Coffee, serving the community creating a community space and giving back by supporting local programs.

November 25, 2019

Hartford Has Winterfest

“Winterfest brings together people from all different ages and all different backgrounds who are just having a fun time in downtown Hartford in the middle of winter in a beautiful, historic park,” says iQuilt Executive Director Jackie Mandyck.

November 20, 2019

Serial Entrepreneur Creates a Food Presence in Hartford

Find out more about serial entrepreneur Cary Wheaton, who is Founder and Owner’s Representative at Firebox Restaurant and Executive Director of Forge City Works.

September 16, 2019

CT Business Owners Reinvent Café to Provide Jobs for People with Disabilities

BeanZ Co-Founder Kim Morrison talks about her entrepreneurial evolution and the importance of creating inclusive work environments.

September 9, 2019

Urban Lodge Brewing Co. Shares Startup Experience

Urban Lodge Brewing Co. Co-Owners Michael Gerrity and Ryan Fagan became friends and brothers-in-law when they married sisters. The two took a brewing class together about five years ago, which is when the idea to open a local brewery began.

July 11, 2019

Hartford Creatives Are Building a Music and Dance Space for the Hartford Arts Community

Parkville Sounds Founder Stephen Cusano and Hartford Dance Collective Artistic Director Jillan Foley are collaborating to create a home for thriving Hartford artists.

July 8, 2019

CT Female Entrepreneurs Celebrate Five Years in Business

Popover Bistro & Bakery owners Pam Paydos and Sara Allen recently celebrated five years in business. Learn about their experience starting out, how they’ve evolved, and some of the challenges they’ve overcome.

July 3, 2019

Greater Hartford Brewery Supports Local Community and Businesses

Find out how Brewery Legitimus has been working to build its clientele and support local businesses.

June 5, 2019

Parkville Market Creates Economic Development in Hartford

“This neighborhood is an amazing community that wants to work together and develop Parkville as a destination. People are so happy to work and live here,” says Parkville Market with Director of Operations Chelsea Mouta.

May 30, 2019

The 10th Annual Hartford Rib Off

Local small business owner Guy Neumann grew a backyard BBQ party into a charitable event that draws thousands of people to Hartford and has raised more than $150,000 since 2009.

February 4, 2019

CT Founder Shares Updates About Her Healthy Food Startup

Let’s Start From Scratch offers an online order system and provides prepared meals and boutique catering, prepared meals, and cooking classes.

January 17, 2019

Hartford-Based Craftbird Food Truck Shares Startup Experience

Craftbird Food Truck co-founder Mallary Kohlmeyer shares about her experience starting a small business in Greater Hartford.

December 20, 2018

With Dozens of Choices, CT is a Destination for Beer Lovers

Connecticut startup breweries are all the buzz right now. Innovation Destination Hartford has had the pleasure of touring several throughout the Greater Hartford area.

December 11, 2018

CT Dance Companies Put Their Spin on Entrepreneurship

Four Connecticut-based creative entrepreneurs share how they turned their dance companies into successful Hartford-area businesses.

November 30, 2018

CT-Based Back East Brewing Company Shares Updates

"It's challenging because the market is continually changing. It is important for breweries to listen and respond to what their customers want," says Back East Brewing Company Co-Founder Tony Karlowicz.

October 23, 2018

Hartford Entrepreneur Puts a Spin on the Local Café Scene

Kyle Mayer has been making efforts to roll out Petrolhead Café, a coffee shop/bar/restaurant concept that is currently seeking social and financial backing so it can launch in Hartford.

October 16, 2018

Hartford-Based Dance Collective Empowers Creative Women

Find out how Jillian Foley was encouraged to launch The Dance Collective based on a need to provide an innovative platform for dance and create choreographic and leadership opportunities for women.

August 24, 2018

Serial Entrepreneur Brings Axe Throwing to Connecticut

“I have a very vivid imagination, so I knew what this place could do and what it could feel like. It’s exceeded every vision I had,” says Montana Nights Axe Throwing founder Merle McKenzie.

August 1, 2018

Hartford-Based Sonia Plumb Dance Company

Sonia Plumb of Sonia Plumb Dance Company always knew she wanted to dance. She eventually found her passion for directing and choreographing. However, “Being an artist and an entrepreneur are two very different things,” she emphasizes.

July 9, 2018

Parkville Sounds Provides a Creative Space for Musicians

Parkville Sounds Founder Stephen Cusano shares about his startup, which provides space for Hartford-area musicians and artists as well as touring bands passing through the city.

June 1, 2018

Hartford Startup Restaurant Is The Place 2 Be

“Hartford has so much potential—and so many people are striving for it. You don’t find that kind of energy everywhere,” says The Place 2 Be Co-Owner Gina Luari.

May 23, 2018

Hartford-Based Hog River Brewing Shares Updates About the Startup

Find out what's new with Hog River Brewing.

May 11, 2018

Entrepreneur Helps Launch Fine Dining Bistro in Manchester, CT

“If Main Street Manchester can become a food destination in a way West Hartford Center or Middletown can be, then everybody wins. That’s how it works. When a business succeeds, it benefits the community,” says Bistro on Main General Manager Ben Dubow.

April 30, 2018

Connecticut Valley Brewing Company

“Local breweries definitely help each other out. We and ask questions or ask for supplies. Everyone works together. It’s a good environment,” says Connecticut Valley Brewing Company Owner Steve Palauskas.

April 27, 2018

Hartford Entrepreneur Shares Updates About CONNetic Dance

"Connecticut has amazingly talented artists and much young talent coming up through schools. I see it as my responsibility as an art creator to keep talent here in Connecticut with professional opportunities that are innovative and inspiring," says Carolyn Paine, who is Founder, Director, and Choreographer of CONNetic Dance.

March 29, 2018

Relic Brewing Shares Updates About the Startup

Read our update with Relic Brewing Owner Mark Sigman.

January 10, 2018

Hartford-Based Coffee Startup Story and Soil

“There’s an opportunity here. We’re all anticipating the momentum that’s already been happening within the whole food scene in Hartford,” says Story and Soil Founder Michael Acosta.

December 28, 2017

Thomas Hooker Brewery Finds a Home in Hartford

Thomas Hooker Brewery Owner Curt Cameron shares about his entrepreneurial experience and why the brewery created a presence in Hartford.

December 8, 2017

Entrepreneur Launches Startup Brewery: Boondoggle Beers

“As far as being innovative, I guess it’s just a matter of trying to keep up with some of the newer trends,” says Boondoggle Beers Founder Micah Kerr. “And, obviously, it’s not about a hobby, it’s about a business. So, you have to earn revenue at some point.”

September 6, 2017

Family-Run Business Continues Success in Newington, CT

IDH learns about the evolution of Saccuzzo Coffee Co. and how the family business has maintained success in Greater Hartford.

July 17, 2017

CT Social Influencers Launch Startup Marketing Agency

“What I’ve learned from working with Kristen as an entrepreneur is we have such different skill sets, yet it really helps when we’re working together. We are able to bring different experiences to our clients,” says Eat IN Connecticut Marketing Co-Founder Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne.

May 19, 2017

CT Startup Brewery: New Park Brewing

New Park Brewing Co-Founder John Doyle on the importance of partnerships: “Having people you can trust in, depend on, and believe in is huge. If you don’t have that strong partnership, it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s not going to work.”

March 30, 2017

CT Startup Brewery: Alvarium Beer Company

"I would highly recommend going through the exercise of developing a business plan, tearing it down, and tweaking it several times," says Alvarium Beer Company co-founder Brian Bugnacki.

March 3, 2017

CT Startup Brewery: Outer Light Brewing Company

Interested in trying new craft brews made in Connecticut? Head to Groton to check out the tasting room at Outer Light Brewing Company. Find out how the startup brewery got up and running—read our interview with Outer Light Brewing Company Co-Founder Matt Ferrucci.

February 20, 2017

Startup Improv Troupe Finds Its Place in Hartford

“We love serving the Greater Hartford community. And we are very Hartford proud because there’s so much opportunity here,” says Julia Pistell, Co-Founding Member and Managing Director at Sea Tea Improv.

December 6, 2016

Entrepreneur Brewer: Firefly Hollow Brewing

“Our goal is small and beautiful,” says Firefly Hollow Brewing Co-Founder Bill Collins.

October 14, 2016

CT Startup Brewing Company: Powder Hollow Brewery

Michael McManus, Owner of Powder Hollow Brewery, on his outlook for the future of the company: “The two- to five-year year plan is in my head, but it’s always happening faster then you’re prepared, which is great. It’s a lot to manage this much growth so quickly.”

October 4, 2016

Hartford Stage Enhances Arts, Community, and Innovation in Hartford

“One of strengths of the City of Hartford is its cultural assets,” says Hartford Stage Managing Director Mike Stotts.

September 27, 2016

CT Startup Brewery: Black Hog Brewing

Business advice from Tom Sobocinski, Co-Owner at Black Hog Brewing: “I think it’s important in any business to always continue to innovate and try new things while maintaining great quality and good customer service.”

September 15, 2016

Entrepreneur Brewers: Labyrinth Brewing Company

Find out how childhood friends Adam Delaura, Sean Gaura, and Chris took their love of homebrewing and decided to launch Labyrinth Brewing Company.

August 12, 2016

Coffee Entrepreneurs Open Café in Hartford, CT

Working downtown? Stop by Blue State Coffee at 777 Main Street, Hartford for an coffee and read our interview with Alexandra Bigler, Director of Outreach and Marketing at Blue State Coffee.

July 29, 2016

Entrepreneur Brewer: Still Hill Brewery, Rocky Hill, CT

“Along with the tremendous growth in craft beer in Connecticut, there is a strong market desire for locally crafted beers. It’s the perfect time to start a brewery in Connecticut,” says Scott Barbanel, Head Brewer and Founder, Still Hill Brewery

July 20, 2016

Startup Teahouse Finds Success in West Hartford, CT

Startup The Green Teahouse has found its place in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square.

June 21, 2016

Hartford’s Vintage Cocktail Bar Is a Startup Success Story

Little River Restoratives co-owners Chris Parrott and Patrick Miceli discuss startups, cocktails, and small business growth in Hartford.

May 24, 2016

Entrepreneur Brewers: Broad Brook Brewing Company

“This business is recession-proof. When times are good people drink; when times are bad they drink some more,” says Tom Rossing, Co-Founder of Broad Brook Brewing Co. in East Windsor, CT.

May 21, 2016

Entrepreneur Brewer: Cold Creek Brewery

Find out how the startup brewery got up and running—read our interview with the Cold Creek team.

April 19, 2016

Entrepreneur Brewer: Relic Brewing

“I always wanted to own my own business,” says Mark Sigman, Founder of Relic Brewing. “When I reached a point in my life where it was realistic, I researched a lot of different business opportunities. In the end the one I thought was most viable was opening a brewery.”

April 5, 2016

Hartford-Based Dance Troupe with an Emphasis on Community

Innovation Destination Hartford Website Curator Nan Price met with Paine over coffee to discuss CONNetic Dance, the Hartford-based dance troupe Paine formed in late 2009. She is currently Founder, Director, and Choreographer.

April 4, 2016

Connecticut Startup Business Success: Krust Pizza Bar

“Connecticut is evolving and changing. I really feel like there’s a heartbeat going on in Connecticut,” says Krust co-owner Kevin Wirtes.

March 8, 2016

Hartford Baking Company: Entrepreneurial Success in Hartford County

Leaving Wall Street to start open a bakery café was a lucrative decision for Scott Kluger, Founder of Hartford Baking Company, who says he knew he wanted to do something entrepreneurial.

January 26, 2016

Startup Food Truck, Catering Business Finds Success in Greater Hartford

Mercado Co-Founder Heather Riedl talks about turning a passion for cooking and working in the food industry into a successful business venture.

December 2, 2015

Entrepreneur Brewer: Witchdoctor Brewing

Witchdoctor Brewing Company, which plans to open in the spring of 2016, is all about supporting the local talent. According to President/Owner/Brewer Josh Norris, the brewery plans offer local food, featured works by local artists and live music from local musicians.

November 11, 2015

Entrepreneur Brewer: Hog River Brewing Company

Born and raised in Connecticut, Hog River Brewing Company Founder and Owner Benjamin Braddock says the goal was always to open in Hartford.