MIAMI – Alex Montanez is the proprietor behind the celebrity-loved Natural Meals Kings meals vans and eating places in Miami-Dade County.
As a convicted felon, Montanez, 38, is aware of how troublesome it’s to discover a job as soon as somebody has been launched from jail, and that’s why he determined that he would solely rent convicted felons to work at his eateries.
Montanez served 5 years in jail, starting when he was 20, after he says he was wrongfully convicted of cash laundering.
He had by no means been in hassle with the regulation previous to his arrest.
After he obtained out of jail, Montanez discovered it troublesome to land a great job so he determined that turning into a enterprise proprietor can be the one approach he may guarantee his success.
Consequently, he opened numerous companies, together with a shoe retailer, quite a few mattress shops and Natural Meals Kings.
Certainly one of Montanez’s Natural Meals Kings workers served 15 years in jail for possession of marijuana. He was simply 19 years outdated when he went in, spending the vast majority of his grownup life to this point behind bars.
One other worker served 9 years in jail for a criminal offense he didn’t commit. In that case, the precise offender finally confessed to the crime and DNA additionally cleared him of wrongdoing.
That worker is now working to get his document expunged.
“They’re one of the best workers,” Montanez mentioned. “They’re the primary ones in and the final ones to depart, as a result of they know if this doesn’t work out, they’re not going to get a company job … They get the job that no one needs — reducing grass, selecting up rubbish.”
As a husband and father of 4, Montanez mentioned he doesn’t worker anybody who has been convicted of rape or crimes in opposition to kids.
So why vegan meals?
Montanez mentioned he has solely been a vegan for a few years, however his spouse, Elena Montanez, has been one for about 10 years.
He mentioned having emergency gallbladder surgical procedure a number of years in the past pressured him to reevaluate his well being and what sorts of meals he was placing into his physique.
However that doesn’t imply the meals can’t nonetheless be tasty.
Natural Meals Kings provides a wide range of choices, from burgers to vegan shrimp tacos.
Their meals is even beloved by an enormous vary of celebrities, similar to Rihanna, Lenny Kravitz, DJ Khalid, and even Madonna.
Natural Meals Kings first opened up in Midtown six days earlier than the 2020 pandemic lockdown in Miami-Dade County.
They’re situated at 3246 North Miami Ave., but additionally have areas in Kendall, Brickell and Doral.
Click here for extra details about Natural Meals Kings and to view their menu.
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