Manny Quintero

Manny’s Story

“Me, my mother, my brother Carlos and my sister Maria arrived here in 1961. I was 11. I spoke no English. Our family was broke. I have no desire to visit Cuba now. That would disrespect my mother who worked so hard to bring us here.

I have never been a church guy but God is always within me. To me, if you don’t find God in a blade of grass, you certainly are not going to find him in church.

Three things are important to me: keeping my family together, staying strong physically and emotionally and weaving my values into what I do.

Manny’s Enterprise at 306 International Parkway in Sunrise keeps my extended family together because we all work here. There is nowhere else I would rather be than at work because my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and my passion for this business are all here. We have even set up an on-site day care area where the cousins can play together and have their parents nearby.

In 1979, I started Manny’s Enterprise in the garage of my Sunrise home. My wife Lori did the accounting and my office was the nightstand next to my bed.

Basically, we sell frozen seafood to restaurants. I am fascinated with how seafood is harvested and how the world’s ocean currents and weather affect the supply. I learned which parts of the world at what time of the year produce the best seafood. Right now, Ecuador and Peru are having epic rains that are affecting the shrimp harvest. The U.S. cannot compete with other countries when it comes to shrimp size and price. Other countries will always be able to sell it cheaper. Shrimp size has to be consistent. A restaurant customer will not like to be served three big shrimp and one small one.

When I worked at Pan American Seafood I learned how to sell seafood. After a while, Lori convinced me to work for myself. When I first started out, I used to get up at 4am to get the seafood, put it in the ice chest, then drive the delivery trucks from Vero Beach to Key Largo. Sometimes I would take my young daughter Raquel with me. Back then, I placed the orders, called the customers, did the payroll, drove the deliveries and formed the lasting relationships with clients. Even though now I have a 28,000 square foot warehouse, I make sure our business is still personal. Many of my clients I had in 1979 are still with me.

As a kid I carried around a lot of anger. I hit a teacher once. If someone insulted my Cuban heritage or talked down to me I would fight them. Martial arts is how I learned the to channel my aggression. It is not so much the 3rd degree black belt I earned: that is just a title. Martial arts is the stronger calling of discipline, self respect, self control, dignity and honor. I learned that the deeper my practice, the stronger my resolve. Now it has come full circle for me. On Sundays I teach martial arts to my nephews in my garage.

My formula for managing all the different personalities in this business can be summed up like this:
No one is better than anyone else.
We all clean the toilets.
Of all the workers here, I work the hardest and everyone else sees that.
The purpose of building this business is for my family who comes after me.
The real winners are the ones who take responsibility for their own actions: excuses are for losers.

It is never too late or too early to begin. What you achieve is a direct result of what you do or fail to do. Everyone has problems and obstacles to overcome. Time plays no favorites. Time will pass whether you act or not. If you’re not willing to work for your goals, don’t expect others to.

Oh, and that Spanish I spoke at age 11 because I didn’t know any English? That Spanish that sometimes was made fun of? My language and my heritage have helped me create a life and a legacy greater than I could have ever imagined.”

Manny Quintero's bag

Manny’s Office Treasures

“The cross is a gift from a family member.

The hand-carved fish is from my nephew Alex. He made it for me when he was in high school.

The flag was my father’s. He was a police officer in Cuba. He came to Miami from Cuba and he honored liberty and freedom.

The button is from my daughter for my birthday.

The martial arts statue is from my nephew.”

23 thoughts on “Manny Quintero: Fish Tale

  • Antonio ChalelaSeptember 14, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    Well deserved Manny!. I still remember that you were our first sale back then in 2002. Thank you for your business and all your support all these years. God bless you and your family.

  • JBSeptember 2, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    Inspiring. Proud to be a long time supplier.

  • Gustavo CarmenaSeptember 2, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Congratulations Manny on your great well deserved achievements. I came to New York in 1981 from Argentina, without the English language. I later on became the director of exports for a large company in New Jersey that I have spent 20 years working there. I also have strong family values and my biggest succes will always be my family.

    I have met Manny 13 years ago while working for Netuno USA in Florida. My boss gave me the chalenge to call on him. I am sure he does know this but I had cero experience at the time in the Seafood business, everytime his calls came true, I was sweeting bullets, because I knew that his was very well informed and I was far from it. It was always a pleasure doing business with him and I had the chace to learn a lot dururing those days. Today I have the opportunity to do international business across the world but I never forgot the respect and humility that he had showed me.
    From your story I like to point out 3 frases that really touch me:
    1. The deeper my practice the stronger the results!!!!!
    2. Winners are who take responsability for their own actions/Excuses are for Loosers.
    3. This could be apply for all the Left wing people that are trying to destroy our great nation

    If you are not willing to work for your goals, don’t expect others to do it for you!!!!!!!

    Again congrats Manny and keep that fire burning!!!!!

  • Dario RosendoDecember 28, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Manny (Manolo as I call him)and I go back 58 years when we were kids. In 1964 after watching The BEATLES in Ed Sullivan, we formed a band, The Attractions. Manny has been very driven and ambitious since a young teen. His whole family were all very dear to me, many times during those early years his mother Esperanza satisfied my appetite when I was hungry. Manolo has lived the American Dream and has accomplish success through hard work and dedication. I’m proud to call Manolo my dear friend.

  • Adrian AmbrósDecember 27, 2019 at 4:54 am

    My family and I left Havana in 1960 when I was 8 years of age; we lived in New York for a year, and moved to Miami in 1961. It was during those early years that I met Manny, his younger siblings Carlos, and sister Maria (Mariita), and of course their lovely mother Esperanza (a very sweet and hardworking lady).
    Carlos and I attended Shadowlawn Elementary School, and later Miami Edison Jr. H.S. However, in order to help at home, Manny opted to take odd jobs to help ends meet. It was a real struggle for us Cuban immigrants during those times. But, during the early 1960’s we remained very close; helping each other’s family’s needs. All of us were, and are, good friends, and have warm memories of those days.
    Back then The Beatles were in vogue. We kids learned to play the guitar, drums, etc.. and formed a band to play at local parties and private functions under the name of “The Attractions”. We weren’t the very best; but we were in demand and had a lot of fun.
    While living close to Miami Edison Jr, H.S., Manny met Lorraine, and it was then that they began a special relationship which has blossomed today to enjoy children, grandchildren, as well as, great grandchildren. Today, Manny and Lorraine have raised a beautiful family, have a beautiful home, and have dedicated themselves to create a prominent and very successful seafood business.
    Now as grandparents we have reconnected, and I look forward to sharing and reminiscing about the old days. I have wonderful memories of those days with Manny, Carlos, and Mariita, as well as all of my friends. And of course, my hat is off to Manny and Lorraine for their accomplishments, and I am very happy for their growth and success.
    I wish them and their family a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy 2020.

  • Delio CastellanosOctober 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    I, like Manny, arrived in this country in 1961. I was also 11 and spoke no English. I met Manny and we became good friends. Soon afterwards, we formed a band called “The Attractions” and we would play at “fiestas de 15”. Manny’s brother Carlos (RIP) would alternate on the drums. Manny has always been of solid character, great family man and honest to an extreme. Life being what it is, we went our separate ways and lost touch for many years. Recently we reconnected and had a “band get together” to reminisce. It gives me tremendous satisfaction to see what Manny has been able to accomplish through persistence and hard work. He deserves all the good things that have happened to him and his family. I’m glad to be back in touch with him and look forward to future family “music get togethers”.

  • Mario VarelaJuly 19, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    I met Manny in the early 70’s. He was working with Pan American Seafood. He is the perfect example of a
    person who came to this country from Cuba with absolutely nothing and worked hard to have his own very
    successful Seafood Distributing Business. Also his wife Lori has contributed to his success. Now they even
    enjoy Great Grandchildren. My best to Manny and his most Beautiful Family.

  • Karolyn MilitanaJuly 17, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    The first thing Manny does is make me laugh. But getting to business is also a pleasure. I’ve always enjoyed working with his team…his family. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story! Karolyn

  • Vincent W DeCarboJune 25, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    I’ve been in the business for a long time and I always enjoyed Manny and his family. Manny is a straight shooter and his word is golden. I respect what they have accomplished and his old school work ethic. I feel honored to know Manny and his family. I wish them the best in the future and god bless them all.

  • Dariana De GouveiaJanuary 2, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    I am very grateful I have the opportunity of working with you and learn from you. It is always a pleasure working with people that understand the true meaning of hard work.

  • Ricardo TorresDecember 19, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I have known Manny from the days when he was in the van picking up and delivering seafood early 80s
    I have to say he is Honorable and a great family man. we need more people like mannys in the world..
    Congrats brother

  • Gabriela VidouDecember 18, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    I am so proud to be able to tell people that I know you Manny. Keep shinning!!!!

  • Mayboll FarinasDecember 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you Manny for sharing your story, very inspiring. Congrats on your success and for having such a lovely family.

  • Nina RegaladoDecember 14, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Manny Quintero and his family are all wonderful people who pride themselves on providing quality Seafood to his customers. It’s great to see a full service distributor who cares about their customers and only want the best. I have personally worked with Manny, Lori & Raquel and they are the reason for their success. Good things happen to those who work hard and have the vision for greatness. I wish you many more happy, healthy & prosperous years ahead.

  • Dan McLaughlinDecember 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    I have been selling Manny for many years. He’s is no doubt one of my favorites customer and person. Now that I know he’s into martial arts I have to lower my prices.

  • Michael CarrickDecember 12, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Manny and his lovely wife Lori are the very definition of a true success story. The American dream shines bright in this family and their success is a direct reflection of Manny’s drive for a better tomorrow. When i started in this business i did not know which way was up or down and Manny was one of the few people that took the time to talk to me on the phone and show me the ropes. Since then i have had the opportunity to meet him and his lovely family in person on several occasions and i can tell you that this article falls short on describing his character. Mr. Manny truly is one of a kind…

  • Christopher CruzDecember 8, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Although Manny authors this biography, I feel he has left himself short, or perhaps, this forum did not have the capacity to inundate itself in what Manny truly brings to the table.

    I have yet to meet Manny , other than my daily phone calls to see if he was A – OK with product. However, this may be news to him, but he was already taught me so much.

    He has taught me that determination, persistence, and calmness go a long way. A calmness that a young, Cuban man like myself thought of as weak and trivial in the Wild, Wild West we call life. Boy was I wrong..

    I thank you Manny for writing this and for being not only a great client, but a mentor in the most subtle ways. And now I will thank you for making me a better man

    Best wishes to you sir

  • Larry GoldDecember 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Manny, If only more people shared your values and outlook on life, the world would be a better place!

  • Juan PujoDecember 8, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    When you read Mannys story is really what Manny is. Most importantly a true friend, a man with convictions and a man of his word. He has a beautiful family , which over the years I have been able to to know and that always treat me with love.
    I remember him coming from Broward to take his mother to Mercy Hospital, when his brother got sick, he was there for all and when my mother passed away, he was there. Manny what can I say.. I love you.

    With a lot of very hard work, dedication and love in all he does , he has been able to accomplish it

  • Ben FrancisDecember 7, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve been a costumer of Manny’s for a few years now and he is a stand up individual who treats his customers like people and not just customers.

  • Luann CollinsDecember 6, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    You are an extraordinary person who shows us all the true meaning of determination. I am so very proud to know you and to work with you my friend. Thank you for sharing this story.

  • KimDecember 6, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Great story about life…. living humble and not forgetting where you came from and what made you who you are today. Congrats Manny.. thanks for sharing Alexis.

  • liz buianiNovember 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Manny and his wife Lori are the kind of people America is made of. I Love his family and their values. So happy I know them. Cheers Manny, Liz B


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