“Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it,” Malcolm X. True to this quote, Antwoin Gutierrez took responsibility for his freedom after coming out of jail.
He started selling drugs at the age of 16 in Peekskill, NY – a line of work that pitched him against the law.
And after three stints in prison – two for drug dealing and the other for robbery that fetched him 32 months jailed term, Gutierrez is on track to a great reform.
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Now a successful entrepreneur, Gutierrez operates his own bakery shop, Fresh Taste, an online bakery, according to the New York Post.
“If I could tell teenage me that I’d be baking the dopest cupcakes, I would’ve said you’re crazy,” Gutierrez, 33, told The Post. “But I still have that hustler spirit.”
When Gutierrez left prison in 2011, he joined the Doe Fund, a nonprofit organisation founded in 1985 that aims to transform the lives of tens of thousands of people with histories of homelessness, incarceration, poverty, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS.
According to The Post, Gutierrez “went in thinking he’d earn his commercial driver’s license. Instead, the food-services head took Gutierrez under his wing and taught him how to bake, a skill similar to one he already had.”
Gutierrez in 2016 launched Fresh Taste Bakery and now sells about 500 treats a day, including his carrot-cake cookies and alcohol-infused cupcakes, The Post reported.
The former felon has made cupcakes for DJ Khaled, “America’s Next Top Model” winner Eva Marcille and the cast of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
“He didn’t just give me a recipe,” Gutierrez said referring to the food services’ head at Doe Fund. “He showed me how to make it, and it was similar to what I was doing when cooking crack. It was all about mixing things and the different reactions you get with chemistry. Something just clicked.”
Gutierrez was so good with his bakery that he got gigs at hotels and restaurants.
Throughout Gutierrez’s transformational journey his mother Lasanja Mignotte has been a rock. “She had me young and used to throw away my drugs. She hated me being locked up,” he said. “She told me that she can die happy. She doesn’t have to worry about me.”