Feel Good Friday: Feeding the community spirit

Feel Good Friday with Sashem Brey
Feel Good Friday with Sashem Brey(WTVG)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:27 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - In this week’s Feel Good Friday, a story to celebrate that time of year when people put a special focus on showing gratitude. It’s also a time when so many step up to provide help to those in need. 13abc’s Sashem Brey introduces us to three local business owners who are working hard to make that their mission year-round.

Serving food prepared with love is the work which makes Rafael Estrada feel most at home.

“This right here just speaks a lot more to me; reminds me of cooking with my father a lot and everything he showed me, and I try to bring it to everyone in the community,” he explained.

His “papi’s” death a few years ago led Estrada to make a major career change: from sales rep and nurse to restaurant owner. His newest venture is Rise ‘n Grind Cafe on West Sylvania Avenue, right next to his first restaurant, Papi’s Toledo.

Despite the struggles of navigating the pandemic, Estrada says he has found ways to adapt, and he views that as a blessing. As such, he makes it a priority to give back to the people who often work the hardest for others. He has donated hundreds of meals to local hospitals and offers discounts almost every day of the week to first responders, health care workers, and teachers. Every Thursday, he also donates a portion of profits and all tips to Feed the Children and Connecting Kids to Meals. In addition, he says, any day of the week, first responders in uniform can eat for free at either of his two food trucks.

“I don’t see taking that loss as anything. I’m blessed right now to be able to do what I’m doing, so I’d like to show my appreciation to the community.”

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