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Latin business owners, entrepreneurs are on the rise

Troy Perez (l.), Kevin Alicea (c.), and Ruben Rodriguez, co-owners of Bronx restaurant Havana Cafe, are the faces of the new Hispanic entrepreneurs.

Victor Chu for News

Troy Perez (l.), Kevin Alicea (c.), and Ruben Rodriguez, co-owners of Bronx restaurant Havana Cafe, are the faces of the new Hispanic entrepreneurs.

When Kevin Alicea’s grandfather left Puerto Rico for the Bronx back in the 1940s, opening a small grocery on Webster Ave. was a matter of survival.

“My grandfather opened a bodega to put food on the table,” said Alicea, 39.

Two generations later, the grandson is also an entrepreneur, but he’s branching out in ways his grandfather never imagined.

After launching a real estate business in the Bronx, Alicea and his two business partners decided to fill a void in Alicea’s Throggs Neck neighborhood by launching an upscale Cuban restaurant.

The trio, who all grew up in Latino households in the Bronx, hired celebrity chef Alex Garcia and last November launched Havana Café. Now they’re serving up fancy dishes like Pizza Cubana to an ethnically-mixed crowd.

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