Local restaurant recognized for giving back to essential workers

Local

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The extra time and effort put in by essential workers due to the coronavirus pandemic has not gone unnoticed by one local man as he takes matters into his own hands to give back to his community — one plate of food at a time.

Cuba Havana is located at the Riverfront Center in Amsterdam. It has been named Small Business of the Month for Montgomery County during the month of June.

Alex Blazquez, the owner and sole operator, has been donating and distributing food to essential businesses like St. Mary’s Healthcare and the Amsterdam Police Department throughout the pandemic.

Moving from Cuba with his father at a young age, he settled in Amsterdam and decided to open his restaurant. He said he noticed from the very beginning the overwhelming support given from the community.

“I was so happy; you see someone give the award to me,” he said. “It’s a lot for me. Where I come from, you don’t see that. Now, you come here and start your new life and see the love of people.”

Blazquez has delivered over 60 meals to essential workers all while running his restaurant as a one man show. He said he wanted to take care of the community that takes care of him the best way he knows how.

“The way I cook, I like to give a lot of food to people,” he said. “I take care of my customers. I want people to take care of me.”

Montgomery County Exec. Matthew Ossenfort delivered the Small Business of the Month Award to Blazquez, and he said its people like Alex that make up the heart and soul of Amsterdam.

“This is what the revival of Upstate New York is all about,” Ossenfort said. “People taking ownership of their community. And he is certainly no different and always there for people, and I think that’s why people enjoy his restaurant so much. It’s not just the food. It’s the atmosphere. It feels like home, and it’s just a great time every time you are here.”


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