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Immigrant business owner in Denver providing thousands of meals for migrants

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Alejandro Flores, Combi Cafe
Posted at 3:33 PM, Dec 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-06 20:02:29-05

DENVER — A Denver business owner is stepping up in a big way by providing thousands of meals for newly arriving migrant families.

It has been nearly a year since the migrant crisis was declared an emergency in Denver.

Since then, the city has served nearly 30,000 migrants with no signs of slowing down any time soon.

More than 300 people have arrived since Tuesday, and around 2,700 migrants are currently in city shelters.

Alejandro Flores Muñoz, owner of Combi Café Catering, has been feeding hundreds of people daily since June.

“Every week, we make a different menu for them,” he said. “Depending on how many guests are in the shelter, I get a number every morning and then I let my kitchen staff know how much to prepare for.”

Muñoz said he and his team of 7 make anywhere between 300-700 meals a day.

This week, they’re about to hit a huge milestone of 25,000 meals since they started their partnership with the city in June.

"I am super thankful and appreciative of the opportunities but at the same time, eager to continue to grow my small business," Muñoz said.

This project has been a blessing both to the families and to Muñoz himself after he said his business was in danger of shutting down.

"Because of this contract and because of how large it is and how consistent it is, I was able to stay afloat, but not only stay afloat but actually hire more additional support," he said.

Now he's helping provide families some comfort through struggles that he knows all too well.

"I was 7 years old when I came to this country through no fault of my own. My mom, a single mother, wanted to give my younger brother and I a better life," he said.

Immigrant business owner in Denver providing thousands of meals for migrants

Muñoz is now hoping that his story will help break the stigma.

"I hear the same narrative quite too often, which is that we are here to take jobs away; we're here to not pay taxes. But that is not the truth. As a small business owner, I employ folks, provide taxes, and contribute to our everyday way of life," Muñoz said. "I am confident that the migrants arriving now 10, 15, 20 years from now are going to be contributing to our infrastructure of our community and continue to provide and give back."

Muñoz said he expects to have provided around 50,000 meals to families by the time his contract with the city ends in March.

When that happens, he said he'll shift his focus to opening up Combi Café as a mobile coffee truck.

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