Nelyson De Jesus is an imposing man with a goatee, a lip piercing, and a wide, infectious smile. About a decade ago, he left his childhood home on Crash Boat Beach in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, to join his father in South Florida. Tony Sanchez is an affable Dominican native with white hair, dark skin, and cheerful eyes. As a kid, he formed a love for salsa and Puerto Rican culture.
When De Jesus struck up a relationship with Sanchez's daughter, the two men also formed a fast friendship. They would discuss the cultural differences and foods of their homelands and fondly recall the warm island lives they left behind.
When Sanchez learned that the owners of a local Puerto Rican restaurant were looking to sell the business, he quickly negotiated a deal, and within a week, De Jesus and Sanchez were partners in the venture. It's been nine years since they took over.