Cuban Business before and after.

Family Business in 1958

I visited my cousin and he shared some stories with me about his father.  He pulled out an old photo album and showed me an old picture of himself in 1958 working at his dad’s business. The business was a small local cafeteria that served breakfast, coffee and sandwiches. He remembered how his dad used to place a wooden box beneath his feet so he could reach the counter and serve a glass of water to every customer.  I was able to take a “scan” of the picture with my camera.

His dad’s business, like all businesses, was nationalized (taken by the government) in 1960  at the beginning of the revolution.  I asked him if the place still existed today or not – “Let’s go and see for yourself how the business is doing today”, he said.

We walked down a few blocks from his current house and there it was.  I was holding the 1958 picture in my hands and could not believe my eyes. The small cafeteria his father cherished so much and where he had so many good times helping out as a kid was destroyed.

Same Business in 2010

See it for yourself!  This was not a Transnational American company or a multi million dollar business; this was a simple neighborhood store privately owned by a hardworking man.

Today, more than 50 years later, the Cuban government is trying to promote small businesses, but those businesses existed before and were destroyed; just as this example shows, many other small business owners had the same unpleasant experience. The country does not need any magical solution, just let people dream and work to make their dreams come true.

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About Alexis M.

Alexis Martin has more than 12 years of experience in the Guayabera Shirt business. In December 18 2002 Alexis founded an internet store for selling Cuban memorabilia from the pre-Castro era, customers began to inquire about the guayabera shirts and a new business concept was born. became a manufacturer and supplier of guayabera shirts online. Google+

11 Responses to “Cuban Business before and after.”

  1. Eduardo March 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm # Reply

    Beautiful story about Cuba before Castro and the very sad present. The ending message reflects cuban people desire for a better and prosperous society. Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Wayne Arnold March 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm # Reply

    Enjoyed reading about your Cuban history. Always wishing you the very best.

    • Alexis M. March 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm # Reply

      Thank you very much. The best to you too.

  3. PABLO ROJAS March 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm # Reply


  4. Marilyn Alvarez March 24, 2011 at 8:18 am # Reply

    Alexis, Thank you so much for sharing this. Please continue to send these. God bless you and your family!

  5. Rufus Davis March 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm # Reply

    Thanks for sharing

  6. Silvia Lopez Bennett March 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm # Reply

    Gracias por compartir, especialmente la foto de tu primo con su papa. Me trae muchos recuerdos de cuando era nina en La Habana. Aun tengo familia en la Vibora; quizas algun dia regrese de visita por alla.

    • Alexis M. March 28, 2011 at 10:54 am # Reply

      De nada espero que visite a su familia pronto. Recuerda que ellos solo nos tienen a nososotros (los cubanos que vivimos fuera) para tener un punto de vista diferente. Cuando nadie los visita ellos solo reciven un solo punto de vista.

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