Project Description

Park Street East, New Haven, CT
Hired 8-10 new staff members and re-invested in community

dana griffin sr.Long-time friends Dana Griffin, Sr. and Pete Jaynes made an agreement with each other – if one of them opened a restaurant, the other would come and help out. And that’s exactly what happened when Dana decided to buy the old Humphrey’s East and turn it into Park Place East, offering freshly-made American cuisine with Southern favorites created by Chef Pete Jaynes. But before Dana could open the doors, he enlisted the assistance of the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC). Dana was referred to CTSBDC Business Advisor Joseph W. Williams, Jr. by the Hartford Economic Development Corporation.

Dana’s initial goals were to refine his business plan, particularly the financial section, and seek assistance in marketing and social media. Joseph stepped in to further assist and guided Dana through the approval process for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) technical assistance board, advised on loan application best practices and coordinated his submission with the loan officer.

Park Place East required a new brand. The marketing assistance Joseph provided raised Dana company’s visibility by creating a brand that set it apart from the previous restaurant that stood at that site while also leveraging the clientele that previously came to the old restaurant.

Dana not only met the deadline for opening his business, he was able to hire 8 to 10 staff members, including well-known Chef Pete Jaynes. All the hard work and perseverance paid off for this local resident and retired New Haven correctional officer who is now in a position to re-invest in his own community, provide jobs for the city of New Haven and the Jocelyn Square community.

“Working with Dana has been an inspiring experience. He leveraged my advice and asked key questions along the way that ultimately helped him achieve his goals. I wish him success in his new business and I am gratified that I was able to play a part in helping him realize his dream. I can’t wait to have my first meal at Park Place East.” – Joseph W. Williams, Jr. , CTSBDC Advisor

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