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mission: activate New London

RD86 is an impact-driven company on a mission to help the city of New London, CT become recognized as a cool place to live, visit, and put down the roots of family and business.

RD86 stands for research & development at 86 Golden St. (our address in the center of downtown New London!). 

Our goal is to serve New London and the greater Thames River region as a site to rapidly prototype and market test ideas for cool and impactful business concepts in the food & entertainment sector. We follow a lean startup approach, "86-ing"  failed experiments and moving forward on projects that have profitable business models and strong teams developed to manage operations.

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strategy: develop people

Our greatest impact and strategic advantage is centering the work we do around the development of people.

We are passionate about employing people eager to develop themselves as entrepreneurs. The ongoing testing and development of new ideas creates a rich learning environment to support the growth of capable and responsible leaders who can run successful enterprises in New London and beyond.

RD86 support structure

The RD86 whole is greater than the sum of its parts. These parts are inter-related companies responsible for different functions within the RD86 system - food service operations, education and workforce development, and consulting.

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business Operations

RD86 is a platform designed to develop and launch many companies.

RD86 Management provides administrative support for our companies and other businesses on a fee-for-service basis.

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Education

The Cultivator Kitchen provides educational and coaching support for people motivated to become entrepreneurs in the food space.

Learning happens through the projects we prototype and develop at RD86 Space.

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Consulting

RD86 Creative is our consulting arm for design, strategy, and branding work with other companies and stakeholder groups to generate solutions that add value to the region with a focus on sustainable business models.

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RD86 Space

our flagship location in downtown New London where the magic happens 

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Pop-up events

The main dining area inside RD86 Space is a pop-up restaurant & event venue holding up to 80 people seated with an open exhibition kitchen.

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the Patio

The Patio is a BBQ restaurant and bar with wood-fire grills smoking brisket, ribs, and searing fish and steaks in cast iron pans open 6 days a week.

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Commissary kitchen

Our a state-of-the-art 2,000 square production kitchen for testing, teaching, and servicing our outlets is visible while sitting in the main dining area.

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the studio

The second floor of RD86 Space is our office, classroom, and meeting space.

team

 
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Robert Ramsay

Robert Ramsay has decades of experience in the food space, including starting and running a large scale catering operation in DC and consulting in NY to start or turn around failing restaurant operations.

Robert started the Montauk House Cafe in 2016 as a test kitchen to support his NY consulting after relocating to New London to be close to his daughters. It quickly morphed into a successful sandwich shop.

Robert and Hannah connected around the potential of New London and the need to support more people to be successful as entrepreneurs. 

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hannah gant

Hannah brings experience in innovation and also the food space, having managed farmers’ markets, worked as a cheesemaker, had a farm business, and started a candy bar business.

In 2014 she completed a Masters in Business Administration in community economic development and finance at Pinchot University in Seattle with a focus on business development as a tool for impact.

She relocated to New London in 2014 and led the effort to start Spark Makerspace and then the Thames River Innovation Place before connecting with Robert to initiate RD86.