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Miami business owner gives convicted felons another chance – WPLG Local 10

by Arifa Rana

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WEATHER ALERT
Amanda Batchelor, Digital Executive Producer
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Amanda Batchelor, Digital Executive Producer
MIAMI – Alex Montanez is the owner behind the celebrity-loved Organic Food Kings food trucks and restaurants in Miami-Dade County.
As a convicted felon, Montanez, 38, knows how difficult it is to find a job once someone has been released from prison, and that’s why he decided that he would only hire convicted felons to work at his eateries.
Montanez served five years in prison, beginning when he was 20, after he says he was wrongfully convicted of money laundering.
He had never been in trouble with the law prior to his arrest.
After he got out of prison, Montanez found it difficult to land a good job so he decided that becoming a business owner would be the only way he could ensure his success.
As a result, he opened various businesses, including a shoe store, numerous mattress stores and Organic Food Kings.
One of Montanez’s Organic Food Kings employees served 15 years in prison for possession of marijuana. He was just 19 years old when he went in, spending the majority of his adult life so far behind bars.
Another employee served nine years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. In that case, the actual offender eventually confessed to the crime and DNA also cleared him of wrongdoing.
That employee is now working to get his record expunged.
“They’re the best employees,” Montanez said. “They’re the first ones in and the last ones to leave, because they know if this doesn’t work out, they’re not going to get a corporate job … They get the job that nobody wants — cutting grass, picking up garbage.”
As a husband and father of four, Montanez said he does not employee anyone who has been convicted of rape or crimes against children.
So why vegan food?
Montanez said he has only been a vegan for a couple of years, but his wife, Elena Montanez, has been one for about 10 years.
He said having emergency gallbladder surgery several years ago forced him to reevaluate his health and what kinds of food he was putting into his body.
But that doesn’t mean the food can’t still be tasty.
Organic Food Kings offers a variety of options, from burgers to vegan shrimp tacos.
Their food is even loved by a vast range of celebrities, such as Rihanna, Lenny Kravitz, DJ Khalid, and even Madonna.
Organic Food Kings first opened up in Midtown six days before the 2020 pandemic lockdown in Miami-Dade County.
They’re located at 3246 North Miami Ave., but also have locations in Kendall, Brickell and Doral.
Click here for more information about Organic Food Kings and to view their menu.
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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.
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