In what part of town do you live?
How long have you lived in the area?
12 years. And before that, I was in Deerfield Beach.
What brought you to Miami?
I moved from New York, May 10th, 1993. A company hired me and moved me to Miami.
What kind of a company was it?
A rental company for the construction industry. I worked for them for 19 years. A private equity firm bought them. They said, I made too much money, I’m too good looking, and too old. In 2013, they fired me a couple months before my son Mikey was born. The worst moment was telling my seven and a half month pregnant wife that I no job and no insurance. I started my business two years later doing the same thing, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done.
What do you enjoy about having your own business?
The upside, controlling my own destiny, not having to report to anyone.
If you could go back and give yourself advice in those early days after you were fired, what would you say?
Relax. Life happens. I wrote a poem for my mom when I found out that she had breast cancer. It’s called ‘The River of Life.’ I’ll repeat it for you because it’s really short.
The river of life is a constant test.
On your journey, be reminded to always do your best.
Don’t take it personal, never lose your spirit.
As life flows, just move with it.
That’s what I would like to go back and tell my younger self.
Whenever we see you at the market, it is with a car full of excited kids, and you are always smiling. How do you do it?
I do not even know if I’m always smiling, but I learned a long time ago as a kid, that if you smile at the world, the world smiles back at you. I am a love child from my parents. I think that’s where it all started. I had a wonderful childhood. As I get older, the word balance means more.
What is balance for you?
Have a bit of everything. A balance between professional life and home life balance. Balance between sleep and non-sleep, eating properly, exercising a little bit. A balance between the relationship with my wife and my children. Another important word is acceptance. The only person or thing you can change in your life is you. Don’t try to change anyone. Learn how to accept them for who they are, just the way they are.
You have been visiting us at the market for years and regularly at the drive through. Would you share about that expereinece?
It is always positive. It’s the joy of knowing that we’re going to get some food that comes with positive intent and love. I love that. I know it’s a business and we are all trying to make a buck, but I think it comes with care. In a sense, what you put in your body is what you will become and the caring that you guys do comes from a good place and that helps nutritionally and increases positive energy. That’s a good attraction.
Where else have you found good energy? What other businesses do you like that you might recommend?
There is a little place called Java and Juice on 151st and Biscayne. We don’t go out much now, but we like the energy there. I know the guy who owns the restaurant and he’s a very conscious person. It’s really a little hole in the wall, but we like it.
Where would you all go for a special occasion?
We just had one. It was our 12th year anniversary. We went to a little Jamaican hole in the wall where the energy is so cool and so vibrant. We loved it and want to go back. It was like we were in Jamaica. It’s called Clive’s Café. Music was good. It wasn’t crowded. And we had the best time ever.
What do you think is Miami’s best-kept secret?
I like Coconut Grove. Maybe because I’m older, I like the relaxed vibe. I grew up with the hippies back in the seventies in Jamaica. The Grove is not so pretentious. The rest of Miami should be laid back like the Grove.
What for you is a worthy splurge?
A good relaxing vacation. You can never pay enough for that.
What community groups or philanthropic groups are important to you and your family that you might like to promote or share?
I question a lot of these organizations because I find that they are not all too altruistic. I know that some assistance can be derived from these organizations, but when I want to do good for someone, I do it directly, not through an organization. I see too many people creating non-profit organizations for money in their pocket. I guess I’m jaded.
Would you like to share a pitch about your business?
No, this is not for pitching anything. The people who need to find me will find me. This is just for me sharing my experiences with you about how we interact with your business. Your business brings life and joy every Sunday.
What question would you like to ask us?
(MC) When are you going to make milkshakes?
(A+W) What kind of milkshakes would you want?
(MC) Malted, Banana, something funky with almond milk or oat milk, or ice cream.
(A+W) We’ve thought about a frozen turmeric golden milk, like a frozen yogurt. Please let us know if this is something we should explore more.
What advice, challenge or question would you like to pose to the community?
When will we start loving and caring for each other? We’ve lost the love for human kind. We’re so defensive. We’re living in a world where self-importance is the biggest game in town. It starts with loving ourselves. So, the question should be, when are we going to start loving ourselves? Then, we can do the same thing for others.