In what part of town do you live?
In Pinecrest. I like the sense of community in Pinecrest. It’s a relatively big city, but here people know each other. I like the fact that it’s a microcosm of the greater community in which we live. We have Jewish people, we have Cuban people, we have African-American people, we have Indian people. It’s really a nice community to raise your kids and expose them to the different cultures that make up the fabric of our community.
Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from Cuba. I was born in Cuba and I came when I was seven in 1980. My dad was a political prisoner there until we came.
Do you remember anything about when things were changing politically?
I certainly remember the differences between a wonderful free country, like the one I live in now and the situation there. I remember for Christmas, there were no presents. You couldn’t go to a store and buy things because they were rationed and you got a number. If you were far down on that list, you didn’t get a toy. If you’re way up on that list, you get the best toy and usually the best toys are reserved for people that worked for the communist party. I remember being forced to eat beets because that’s the one thing that was available at that time. Overall, I had a very happy childhood with very good parents and family.
Would you share a little about what keeps you busy during the week?
My kids and job are usually what keeps me most occupied during the week. I’m an attorney with a great law firm in Miami called Bilzin Sumberg.
What kind of law do you practice?
I do civil litigation, mostly representing businesses and entrepreneurs in business disputes.
What do you enjoy most about it?
It’s like playing a game of chess. It really is strategic. I really love my job. I get paid to sit around thinking about strategy and what is the best way to resolve the issues for the client, not only from a legal perspective, but also from a business perspective. Even if you win a case from a legal perspective, that may not be in the client’s best interest in the long run. Ultimately, we really have to see what is the best result.
Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit like your clients?
I do have an entrepreneurial spirit. I think you have to when you’re practicing the kind of law that we practice. I don’t do plaintiff’s work like personal injury, for example where there’s always a case. We have to always try to figure out how we can get additional business and new clients. At Bilzin Sumberg, they encourage people to be entrepreneurial in the way that they market to new clients and define yourself within the industry. There are a lot of attorneys in town, so, you have to differentiate yourself and to add value for those clients. But I got to tell you, you listen to these podcasts and you dream of building your own business.
We’ve talked about a podcast that we both enjoy, ‘How I Built This.’ What do you learn from the podcast? What do you enjoy?
I love the strategy and I just love the human stories. All these people come from so many different and varied backgrounds. Some people grew up very wealthy and some people grew up very poor, but all of them had this desire to succeed and it was transcendent. It didn’t matter whether you had a lot of money or a little bit of money, they were just deadly focused on that goal. And I love hearing that story because even though these people come from different backgrounds, they share kind of like a common path. They want to do something for themselves in their family. They want to do something that’s monumental and different. It’s just a wonderful podcast.
We’re also both fans of fun and arguably unpractical vehicles. Would you tell us about yours?
You’re talking about the military Humvee that I bought and the reason I did it. It started off as a love of old trucks. I love old things and I love restoring old things. Whether it’s a handheld radio or an old guitar. I put things together because I like the aspect of building things and rebuilding them and imagining them as they used to be. This military vehicle was something that started off as reading an article to my kids. I said, ‘you can actually buy one of these army trucks.’ They said, ‘dad, we should get one!’ I started looking at government auctions and realized that we could get one and it was a project that we could all work on. We built and restored this military truck and on the weekends, my kids and I just go around and enjoy it. It’s a shared experience. Not only the rebuilding of it, but the buying it, the bidding on it at auction, and now getting to enjoy it together.
It’s the widest car to make it under our drive through tent. What’s it been like coming to the drive through?
Fantastic. I first became aware of you and your company through the rainbow smoothies at Pinecrest Gardens. When COVID hit, the market was something that we really missed because it was just a nice thing to do during the weekends where you could go out with the family, get something healthy and spend some time. From a neighbor, we found out that you had opened this drive through, and it was really conscious. Now, it’s something I do every single weekend weekend with my kids. And sometimes I go on Saturday and Sundays, because it’s just become part of the family tradition. We’re really looking forward to those smoothies because they’re absolutely delicious. And we don’t have to get out of our car. You guys are wearing masks, we’re wearing masks, and we get the same delicious product that we always do. And, it’s without the hassle, even of having to park and go to the farmer’s market, like we used to. It’s more than just a smoothie. It’s the ability to share in it with my family.
What’s else do you get besides the smoothies?
Whenever the cookies are available, we get those cookies because they’re just delicious. You can’t stop eating them. I usually buy one bag because it’s a way of governing our intake. If we bought 10 bags, we would consume them during the same two day period. Beyond that, honestly the guacamole is just the best guacamole we’ve ever had. I get the turmeric concentrate. I don’t suffer from any inflammation diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, but it’s just good. I love adding it to smoothies. It’s just something that’s unique, different, and wonderful.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
It’s not necessarily the Beaches or anything like that. It’s what the locals do, whether going to a Cuban ventanita and grabbing a Cuban coffee or going to your market stand and picking up a Rainbow Smoothie. Because of the different cultures here, there’s such an ability to engage in the local community and mix with a broad swath of people, that’s Miami’s best kept secret.
Are there any community groups that are important to you and your family that you would like to promote or share?
My wife does a lot with Jewish causes, helping older people, delivering medicine and food items, and a lot of her time to our temple, Temple Beth Am. For me, there’s a local charity called Sebastian Strong. The mission of the charity is to try to find alternative and more cures for childhood cancer. Traditional methods, which are really invasive, make your hair fall out and wreak havoc on young children’s bodies.
Is there a question, words of advice, or a challenge you would like to pose to our readers and community?
Especially in light of this election – I guess the challenge is how do we come together and how do we accomplish things that are of common good for the community and country and families without that bitterness that often infects our conversations.
Is there a question that you would like to ask us?
When are you going to open up more locations for that delicious smoothie? I want to see it broadly dispersed.
(A+W) We’re not actively looking, but it sure would be nice to have a location closer to Pinecrest.