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How the Twisted Taino restaurant got its start in Cleveland

From homeless to business owner: How José Melendez started Twisted Taino restaurant in Cleveland



José Melendez is the person behind the Twisted Taino restaurant in Cleveland. This is how he bought began.

CLEVELAND — José Melendez went from residing in his automobile, to proudly owning not one, however three companies. He’s one resilient Clevelander, residing proof that something is feasible with somewhat additional dedication and the help of your individual group.

“Taking a look at every thing that occurred to me, I believe it was a part that ready me to be stronger and deal with any kind of state of affairs like in the present day,” Melendez stated whereas referring to the difficult occasions that restaurant house owners have gone by way of due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Rising up in Cleveland, truly, initially was somewhat powerful not understanding a cent of English.”

At this time he’s a proud father, a profitable enterprise proprietor and a revered group chief. However his on a regular basis life in the present day is nothing prefer it was once. Melendez and his mother dreamed of a greater life when he got here right here from Puerto Rico. Between language boundaries, cultural variations and racial profiling, they rapidly came upon it would not be simple.

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Regardless of all odds Jose made a greater life for him and his household. He graduated from Cleveland State. He was constructing the muse of his dwelling and household, when every thing he had completed slowly began crashing down, and a divorce almost broke him.

“It was a really powerful part, till ultimately residing in my automobile,” he stated. “I needed to do one thing.”

Then Melendez bought the break he wanted within the coronary heart of the Hispanic group, presenting his meals at a quinceañera expo utilizing the identical recipes from his mom and grandma that he loved as a toddler. Within the blink of a watch, he had a brand new profession and a steady dwelling.

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However the laborious work did not cease there. Melendez and his new spouse ran a housekeeping firm, a catering firm and a restaurant — all to offer for 5 youngsters.

He now works to feed Northeast Ohio at his restaurant Twisted Taino. He nonetheless makes use of the recipes his household introduced from Puerto Rico 30 years in the past, however he has now added a contemporary twist.

Twisted Taino was named Cleveland Journal’s Better of Cleveland 2020.

His success is now giving him the possibility to assist others going through a troublesome state of affairs like he as soon as did. As a group chief, and profitable enterprise proprietor, he’s now working to pay it ahead as a part of the Spanish American Committee in the identical group that raised him up.

“They assist me out after I was on the low,” he stated. “That is why my method of giving again, serving to these which might be strolling by way of the door, identical to I as soon as did up to now,” he added.

Twisted Taino is now open for enterprise inside Sauce The Metropolis Meals Corridor in Ohio Metropolis. Very quickly they are going to be asserting the opening of a second location in Parma which would be the first full service restaurant for Twisted Taino.

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