reSET Announces Receipt of $2.225 Million DECD Grant

Glen Daja Woodard from Daja Goodies Credit: Photo added

The best of cooks can satisfy the most discerning palates, but all that skill alone can’t help someone bring their food to the masses through a successful business.

reSET is a Hartford-based nonprofit that has already helped such budding entrepreneurs through their programs, and hopes to help many more with the help of $2.2 million in funding from the program. grants from the State Department of Economic and Community Development to support small enterprises. The grant will be for a period of five years.

Through his Food and Detail reSET incubator programs offer participants help with everything from access to those knowledgeable in these areas to specific help with developing a business plan and developing an online presence.

“A lot of our entrepreneurs on the food side in particular – they’re great cooks but they don’t necessarily have a food background,” said Sarah Bodley, executive director of reSET.

Bodley added that the group’s goal has always been to help fledgling businesses with their bottom line, but also to support those trying to make a positive social impact.

Some companies make foods that are allergy-friendly or chemical-free. Others strive to showcase their cultures through their food.

The food incubator started in 2019, with 62 businesses graduating. The retail incubator started in 2021, Bodley said.

“Small retail businesses have a lot of people working in this program trying to figure out how to get to their market more effectively and start thinking about growth,” Bodley said.

reSET also works to support Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and women interested in founding, launching and growing food and retail businesses in the Greater Hartford area.

“We’re based here in Hartford, which is a majority minority community, and we really want to make sure that we’re reaching out and providing those opportunities for people who live, work, and love Hartford,” Bodley said. “That has always been a real priority.”

Funding from the grant will help reSET food entrepreneurs through programs including a new “Digital Marketing Mastermind” training program in 2023, Bodley said. There will also be food accelerator and incubator programs as well as networking events and workshops offered by the Hartford Culinary Collaborative. Over the course of the grant, reSET hopes to target more than 425 entrepreneurs.

reSET will associate with Breakfast lunch dinner for its retail program, “Floor–Plan Retail Activation Initiative”, which will include a 12-week retail incubator program. There will also be an e-commerce platform and pop-up market events. reSET hopes to target more than 450 entrepreneurs through the five-year grant.

The food business support and retail business support programs will include grants to businesses that complete the program, totaling $170,000 over the grant period, according to reSET.


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