Ex-felon finds fresh start with thriving food truck in Long Lake

Carlos Parra Perez served about eight years in prison during his early twenties, for smuggling people across the border.

"It’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy," Perez said. "Even if the jail block could be made out of gold and diamond, it’s still always going to be a jail, and you’re confined. I hate it when they told me when to go to sleep. I hate it when they told me when to go eat. I hate it when they told me when I could see my family."

Once out from behind bars, Carlos left California and came to Minnesota. He was intent on starting a new life. Now, fast-forward more than a decade later, he has one.

"It’s been wonderful," Perez told FOX 9. "I have a great team beside me."

Carlos Parra Perez has found a fresh start and success with his food truck in Long Lake, Minnesota. (FOX 9)

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Perez says he was let go from his job and decided to use savings to rebuild a 1981 truck. It took four years, but now the truck is an oasis for Mexican street food.

Carlos oversees two full-time employees and six part-time employees in Long Lake at 2067 Wayzata Blvd West; Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"It’s been surreal," Carolina Cano-Garnica said. "It’s been a couple of years in the making."

Cano-Garnica works for her father and is very proud to see how far he’s come, "All of a sudden, it was like woah we’re doing this," Cano-Garnica finished. "I’m very proud of him. We’ve all come a long way."