Breakfast Lunch and Dinner created the Know Good Market to help Hartford-area businesses reach the audience they deserve.
After graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Jeffrey Devereux could’ve gone anywhere. A highly motivated and enterprising 20-something, Devereux could’ve followed his ambition to New York, Chicago, L.A., or any of the other major markets in the country. Instead he created the Know Good Market in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood.
“I saw opportunity in Hartford where other people would see opportunity in New York or Boston,” Devereux says. “There’s a lot of places where there’s a need to create new things and create more value in a place. That’s what I saw in Hartford. As an entrepreneur, that’s how I stubbornly chose to think about it.”
The Know Good Market is a monthly food and craft festival celebrating the local food, art and music scene. Devereux started it more than a year ago to give entrepreneurs and ambitious chefs an opportunity and space to test their enterprises.
So far, so very good. “We’ve gotten [Know Good] to a place where the vendors are doing really great and the community seems to like it,” Devereux says. When the first one launched in the fall of 2015, it was just a couple of food trucks and craft vendors, and a couple hundred people in attendance. Now, the festival, comprising about eight food trucks, about as many craft vendors, craft brewers and, most recently, a live music stage, draws between 500 and 600 people. That’s good for the local businesses operating out of trucks and from behind tables each month at Know Good.
“One of the things we always wanted to do is make sure there’s strong pathways for local people who wanted to start a food business,” Devereux says. He’s a founder and partner of Breakfast Lunch and Dinner, the venture-building firm behind Know Good, which located in an adjacent building to the market. Breakfast Lunch and Dinner specializes in social enterprise, public art projects, community events, and other forms of entrepreneurship in Hartford. “We’re a place where businesses can be incubated,” he says.
“That’s what we’re in the middle of creating now,” Devereux says. “We’re really excited about creating that economic pathway. We’re not going to make people lots of money overnight. But the food business is a good business if you can figure out what you’re doing and find your market. If our vendors are doing well, then we’re doing well.”