‘I’ve sacrificed for this place:’ Owner of Alex’s Fresh Kitchen fights to keep dream alive

Alex Diaz shares his struggles and successes in running his business

Alex Diaz is constantly pushing to make his restaurant, Alex’s Fresh Kitchen, a success.

“It’s my baby. It’s my dream, you know, and I do anything for it. I’ve sacrificed for this place,” Diaz said.

Diaz opened his restaurant in 2019 at 1015 State Road 436 in Suite 109 of a strip mall in Casselberry. The pandemic hit not long after, creating new challenges for the budding business.

In 2021, Diaz described the ups and downs of coming out of the pandemic — like supply chain issues and inflation — as being like a roller coaster. Now, he said those issues have only gotten worse.


“I would say it’s torture,” Diaz said. “One minute, you have a good week — and you have good labor costs, good food costs going across the board — and then you do your next order and everything’s up, like $20-$30 or more. It’s like, ‘When did this happen?‘”

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Despite the challenges, the chef and his team manage to put out an impressive menu of, largely, scratch-made food from a tight kitchen. Diaz chalks it up to the work culture he maintains at the restaurant.

“We respect each other. We call each other chefs throughout the whole kitchen,” Diaz said. “think it starts with that and I appreciate my guys, I always tell them all the time, ‘I appreciate everything you do.’ I think throughout my career, I think that’s something that’s missing in a lot of places. People are not appreciated enough.”

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Diaz and his team have seen some significant successes, including an invitation to South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

“We had no clue what we were doing when we came down there, but it was, it was a really good experience,” Diaz said.

He and his team got the chance to hand out 3,000 of the restaurant’s award-winning Mamba burgers.

Diaz is also set to be featured in an upcoming TV cooking competition, though he couldn’t say much about it.

“We got something coming out in October. I’m sworn to secrecy. So I can’t say what show it is, but it’s definitely going to be an interesting show,” he said.

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On the latest episode of Florida Foodie, Diaz talks about working with his mother and now his wife. He shares his plans to move Alex’s Fresh Kitchen into a bigger space.

Please follow our Florida Foodie hosts on social media. You can find Candace Campos on Twitter and Facebook. Lisa Bell is also on Facebook and Twitter and you can check out her children’s book, “Norman the Watchful Gnome.”

Florida Foodie is a podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that takes a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impact that has on us here in Florida and for everyone, everywhere. Find new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.

About the Authors:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.

Lisa Bell has been in Central Florida since 2007, covering the big stories that impact our community. Lisa was promoted to News 6 evening news co-anchor in May 2014.