Trouble has it’s way of finding us. Well, maybe it’s not the trouble’s fault. I have had times in my life that trouble has found me. There might have been a few times I might have found it, maybe. The interesting part of finding or being in trouble is what happens next. I believe at this juncture we are essentially at a crossroads. In other words, we have a choice to make. Follow the troubled path or take the high road. Easy, right?

Some Choices Define Us

If I were to stop and think about who I am and how I got to where I am now, the number of influences would probably be infinite. Of course some have been positive, some negative. The cool thing about all of them is they all have shaped my character and who I am today. Such is the case for everyone that lives and breathes. Our choices are what help shape us – what define us.

Unfortunately, in this flawed world we are surrounded by all kinds of bad stuff. Choosing to do some of these bad things can be life altering. Alcohol and drugs are two big influencers that negatively impact millions of lives each year. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a terrible disease that essentially takes people’s lives from them.

For many years now the restaurant culture has been steeped in drug and alcohol abuse. I would venture to say with the late nights and access to drinks, it could be easy to fall into that trap. All too often workers fall into the trap of working late night long shifts which can lead to temptations. Those temptations unfortunately sometimes lead to lifelong addiction or even death.

Great Restaurants – Great Opportunities

Lexington, Kentucky is a great mid-western town. Great things have come out of this unique city. Awesome horse farms and storied UK basketball history are just a couple of the good things to come out of Lexington. Oh yeah, there are great restaurants there too, lots of them.

Rob and Diane Perez, owners of one of Lexington’s most successful restaurants, Saul Good, have had a major positive impact on the community. With the success the Perez’s have seen, it has not come without it’s challenges.

Although Saul Good is a successful business, over the years many of the staff have been addicted to drugs. Even worse, many have died as a result of their addictions. It was through these tragedies that the inspiration for the DV8 Kitchen came to be.

DV8 Staff

Welcoming In Former Addicts

DV8 Kitchen is a unique restaurant in which 1/3 of it’s employees are former addicts that are in active recovery. Most businesses look over addicts when hiring. DV8 is the exception. The Perez’s have partnered with five different rehab centers to find employees recovering from drug addiction.

One very important qualifier is that these employees are trying to help themselves. This seems counter-intuutive, but they are finding is that the people that are trying to help themselves are more committed to the job. Basically, if they lose their right at the transitional living facility because of drug use, they lose their job too.

These former addicts are in programs that help them deal with what might have happened to them. Things that could be the root cause for their path to drug addiction. I guess you could say they are trying to deviate from their past. Rob says it is really inspiring impressive to see how they are changing and improving every day.

Looking To The Future

Drug addiction is a really hard thing to completely overcome. DV8 Kitchen is a second chance employment business which has given just that to so many, a second chance. Whether or not these employees stay with DV8 or not, the skills, confidence, and strength they have gained from this experience will help them in their walk of life.

DV8 Kitchen has a goal of building pride and self-respect, not only to their second-chance people, but to all of their employees. How? Simply by being excellent at what they do. Ron and Diane Perez are good people. They have good restaurants, good food, good employees and good hearts. Well there you have it, the bar has been set…let’s see who can rise above it and do even more good. And-Go!


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