some of our recent success stories
A long-time chef in his native Jamaica on cruise ships and in hotels, Garcia Brown was a prized chef at Hartford’s most popular West Indian restaurant. Striking out on his own, Mr. Brown decided the best way within his budget to build his own business was as a mobile food vendor. After several years barbecuing under a tent, he has saved enough to stop working for others, and buy and outfit his own food truck.
Malike Anthony, an immigrant from Togo in West Africa, came to the U.S. to study business and obtain his MBA. To support himself, he worked in a Halal grocery, Accra Market in East Hartford. Accra is the capital of Ghana; Halal are the dietary laws of the region’s growing Muslim population.
Skilled at butchering meat in accordance with strict Muslim law, Mr. Anthony sought to open his own Halal supermarket in Hartford and identified a location. However, an offer of overseas financing was withdrawn when this country’s immigration policies changed.
Mr. Anthony explored several options to take commercial advantage of his trans-Atlantic ties. He developed relationships with several coffee plantations in Togo and the Ivory Coast seeking to find export markets. He studied and navigated U.S. import regulations. Through International Hartford, Mr. Anthony met and signed a distribution contract with a distributor and retailer of imported, single estate coffees.