Miami business owners give convicted felons another chance

Organic Food Kings first launched in 2020, now has 4 locations

Organic Food Kings owner Alex Montanez (far left) with rapper Fabolous; (right pic) Alex Montanez and his wife and business partner, Elena Montanez. (Organic Food Kings)

MIAMI – Alex Montanez and his wife, Elena Montanez, are the owners behind the celebrity-loved Organic Food Kings food trucks and restaurants in Miami-Dade County.

As a convicted felon, Alex Montanez, 38, knows how difficult it is to find a job once someone has been released from prison, and that’s why he and his wife decided that they would develop a program at their business to help give convicted felons a second chance to get back on their feet.

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 and worked numerous odd jobs.

At the time, Elena Montanez worked from home for the University of Miami while raising their young children, and the two were eventually able to save up enough money to open their first food truck, along with various other businesses, including a shoe store and numerous mattress stores across Miami-Dade County.

After making their own dreams come true, the couple decided they would give back -- both by helping local nonprofit organizations in the area, and by hiring people who might not be able to find a good job elsewhere.

One of their 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.

Employees of Organic Food Kings (left); owner Alex Montanez with MMA fighter Jorge Masvidal. (Organic Food Kings)

“They’re the best employees,” Alex 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 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.

Organic Food Kings' Doral location. (Organic Food Kings)

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for