ASBURY PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — From serving time to serving up meals all over the country, on this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day three men have defied the odds.

After spending time in prison, they are getting into small business ownership, CBS2’s Nick Caloway reported.

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In a cramped kitchen, thousands of meals are cooked, wrapped and shipped to homes all over the East Coast, the South and Midwest.

“So MacroBites is a healthy meal prep delivery service. We have ready-to-eat meals that we ship across the country,” Dave Lewis said.

(Photo: MacroBites)

MacroBites is the brainchild of Lewis and his two friends since childhood — Jarrette Atkins and Fritzner Georges.

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They share a love of food, family and community. All three spent time in prison for drug-related crimes committed long ago and they all knew they were capable of more.

“This can’t be my life. Especially, I have a son out here. He’s 14 years old now. That’s something I would never be able to go back to,” Georges said.

So after making some mistakes, these underdogs made good, launching MacroBites food delivery in 2019.

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On Monday, they cut the ribbon on a market in the Springwood corridor in southwest Asbury Park. They said they’re selling healthy food in an underserved community.

“It means everything to me. It means everything to really go through the struggle with people and then be able to share the fruits of our labors with them. It’s an amazing feeling,” Atkins said.

The group is committed to giving back to the community, so opening the shop on MLK Day feels special.

“To be able to show what we’re doing on a day like this, it means a lot,” Georges said.

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The business is growing. It’s now shipping out more than 1,000 meals a week. But the owners hope their biggest export is a message that it’s never too late to turn your life around, Caloway reported.

“There’s a different way. You know, you don’t have to sell drugs like we used to do. You don’t have to play ball. You don’t have to be a rapper. You can be an entrepreneur. You can start a business,” Lewis said.

They are living proof that you don’t have to be defined by your past. You can be motivated by it.

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CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report

CBSNewYork Team