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This profile was last updated on 4/14/16  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Jesus W. Puerto

Wrong Jesus W. Puerto?


Phone: (203) ***-****  HQ Phone
Local Address:  Honolulu , Hawaii , United States
Soul de Cuba Cafe
283 Crown Street
New Haven , Connecticut 06511
United States

Company Description: Soul de Cuba Cafe offers a unique dining experience combining exquisite traditional Cuban dishes and specialty drinks in a fun, entertaining, service oriented...   more

Employment History

  • Board Member
  • Executive Director
    Habitat for Humanity

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • hotel and restaurant management
31 Total References
Web References
Jesus Puerto, owner of the ... [cached]
Jesus Puerto, owner of the Soul de Cuba Cafe in Honolulu, Hawaii, and New Haven, Conn., as well as president of Cubanakoa Foundation, is one of the people who has never been silent. Jesus was born into an Afro-Cuban family in historic Ybor City just outside of Tampa, Fla. Ybor City is rich with a history of pioneering Cuban, Italian and Spanish immigrants and is where Jesus' great-grandfather, Santiago Gonzalez of Guanabacoa, Cuba, first settled his family in 1894 just after the Cuban War of Independence.
So for me, Jesus and Soul de Cuba Café was the embodiment of and doorway into a world that I had never known.
"Cubans had begun immigrating to Ybor City as a result of the flourishing cigar industry," Jesus said. "Many of the Cubans of African and indigenous descent, including my great-grandfather, the Gonzalez family brought with them traditional methods of preparing food and traditional ideas regarding spirituality. Jesus still has family in Cuba which has allowed him to travel in and out of Cuba.
It is that deep spiritually which lead Jesus on the journey from Ybor City and Cuba into the communities of North America, the Peace Corps and the islands of the Pacific. Living in Samoa and Hawaii he discoverd the vast similarities as well as related traditions, language and crops.
Jesus Puerto believes Cubanakoa's mission to celebrate humankind's shared history, stories and journey. Therefore, in May 2014, Jesus and Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society - parent organization of the voyaging canoe Hokule'a - serendipitously met and had a conversation about the Hokule'a making a stop in Cuba during its worldwide canoe voyage.
We are eternally grateful for Jesus Puerto's vision and commitment to see it through.
Soul de Cuba | About [cached]
Visions of the Soul de Cuba Cafe restaurant concept first came to Jesus Puerto in the mid 1980's while attending college in Ybor City, Florida.
It was after his 1991 layoff in the wake of Eastern Airlines' collapse that Jesus decided to invest in his vision by enrolling in a two-year restaurant management course.
Let go and let God, Allah, Buddah, Obbatala or whoever is in charge... 'cause it surely ain't me....
- Jesus Puerto, Founder, Soul de Cuba Cafe
On Easter weekend 1993, Jesus was diagnosed with spinal meningitis. Doctors gave him a few hours to live and advised his family that the slight chance of survival would come at a cost -- loss of sight or hearing, or even mental impairment. In what doctors described as "without scientific explanation," "a miracle" and "lucky," Jesus survived and recovered without complications. In the Afro-Cuban tradition of spirituality practitioners believe the duties of miraculous healing are taken on by the Orisha (Angel), Babalu Aye. While in recovery, realizing his tremendous fortune, Jesus made a promise to dedicate his life to service and human enhancement. Though at first it wasn't clear how, his will and perseverance helped to enlighten his journey.
Since, Jesus has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, a United Nations Volunteer, and as a Charter Board Member and Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity in Western Samoa. He also worked in the Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he served as country officer for Peace Corps programs in the Caribbean and Central America. Before opening the first Soul de Cuba Cafe he was recruited to work in New Haven, Connecticut by Paul Newman's Association of Hole in the Wall Camps to develop and support programs and activities in Thailand, Southern Africa and Japan.
In the summer of 2004 Jesus led the development of the first Soul de Cuba Cafe in New Haven, Connecticut. Two years later, in July of 2006, Jesus opened Soul de Cuba Cafe in Honolulu, Hawaii and launched Soul de Cuba Specialty foods.
Arts Council of Greater New Haven [cached]
"I've been learning about Afro-Cuban food traditions since I was a child helping my abeula (grandmother) sort and clean black beans in her kitchen," writes Jesus Puerto, chef and owner of Soul de Cuba Café, in an e-mail.
Hawai‘i SBDC Network - Honolulul Center Success Stories [cached]
Or maybe the popularity comes from co-owner Jesus Puerto's sharp sense of style about food, art, and music.
Jesus Puerto, owner of Soul de Cuba Café, the newest addition to the Chinatown dining scene, gets it.
The addition of Puerto's own strategic planning and good cash flow and bank balances to Kim's knowledge of lenders led to a micro-loan that enabled Puerto to open the business.
According to Kim, "Jesus is at the restaurant constantly.
Jesus acts quickly but not without careful assessment of the circumstances and environment.
Arts Council of Greater New Haven [cached]
"I've been learning about Afro-Cuban food traditions since I was a child helping my abeula (grandmother) sort and clean black beans in her kitchen," writes Jesus Puerto, chef and owner of Soul de Cuba Café, in an e-mail.
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