HARTFORD — Growing up in Hartford, all Walter Little knew about the M. Swift & Sons factory in the city’s Northeast neighborhood was that it made gold leaf for the dome of the state Capitol.
But in the past year, Little has learned a lot more, like how a $34 million redevelopment of the vacant, rundown factory into an incubator and entrepreneurial space has given Little a chance to build a thriving restaurant business, Chef Walt’s.
“It’s like a dream,” Little said, shaved beef and onions sizzling on the grill and a pot of jerk chicken bubbling nearby. “It gave me an opportunity that I wouldn’t have had, not having the best of credit, not having parents who could back me up.”
The 80,000-square-foot hub of incubator and community space on Love Lane houses mostly Black-owned and women-owned businesses.