We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Cruz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kevin, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The business was started by my grandfather, Vicente Cruz, when he purchased Jensen’s Liquors in 1978. In the late 1980s, my father, Eddie Cruz purchased a second location.

By the late 2000s, I began to become involved in the day to day operations of the chain. I have now cycled out of the day to day operations and really act as general counsel for pressing alcohol beverage law issues that may arise. My younger brother, Eric Cruz, and my father handle the day to day operations. Today, we have 6 different locations in the City of Miami and greater Miami area.

My thought process into getting in the package store business was about a desire to learn the family business. However, not all family members grow the fondness I did to their families business. My experience was very unique. My family did not pressure me into working at Jensen’s Liquors. In fact, it was quite the opposite as my father wanted me nowhere near a liquor store as a long term career. He always felt the nature of the business and long hours were unhealthy. I on the other hand,  fell in love with the business instantly. I loved meeting new customers, interacting with regulars, but most importantly it was about competing. Miami is home to several independently owned liquor store chains and is a considered one of the most competitive U.S. markets for package stores. I have always believed that competition breeds excellence. If Jensen’s was going to be one of the market leaders, we had to become extremely serious about the experience we were providing our customers. My father and I enjoy designing liquor stores that are aesthetically pleasing and provide memorable shopping experiences for the customer. We are extremely meticulous about the appearance of each of our locations, and have begun incorporating themes based on where each store is located.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I always enjoy dinner from my favorite italian restaurant and that is CRUST.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate the first shoutout to my grandfather, Vicente Cruz. My grandfather is the patriarch of our family and there would not be a Jensen’s Liquors in Miami today if it were not for him and the sacrifices made along the way.

I would like to dedicate the second shoutout to my parents, Nidia and Eddie Cruz, who instilled a strong work ethic in me at a very young age. They worked tirelessly to provide a better life for my siblings and I.

Website: https://jensensliquors.com

Instagram: @Jensensliquors

Facebook: Jensen’s Liquors

Yelp: Jensen’s Liquors

Image Credits
DYLAN RIVES, Instagram: @drives

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.