Meet The Formerly Incarcerated Business Owners Behind This Jersey Healthy Meal Prep Company


April 10, 2024

They’re hoping to inspire others to live healthier, freer lives.

Three New Jersey natives went from behind bars to business owners when they opened MacroBites, a Black-owned, health-conscious meal prep company that focuses on wellness, nutrition, and providing cuisine for the culture.

Macrobites is the first Black-owned ready-to-eat meal service company in the nation and was founded by Dave Lewis, a New Jersey native who spent most of his twenties incarcerated for drug-related crimes. When he was released in 2013, he wanted to make a change not just for himself, but for his community. 


“Trying and failing a few times when I was younger left me in a dark place,” said Lewis, 35, in an interview with NJ.com. “But finally understanding there was another way to succeed really pushed me forward.”

Determined to turn his life around, Lewis partnered with two friends, Jarrette Atkins and Fritz Georges –also formerly incarcerated Black men–and together the trio opened MacroBites in 2019.

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“Food and health is something that we’ve always enjoyed,” Atkins shared with ABC 11. Atkins serves as MacroBites CEO. “Me and Dave when we were actually incarcerated, we both took a culinary class that allowed us to get more experience in the kitchen and a more balanced understanding of how to cook nutritious food. And that, upon our reintegration into society is what led us into Macrobites.”

Based in Asbury Park, New Jersey, MacroBites  services hundreds of people daily with affordable prices for their meals – burgers for $11, shrimp platters for $10, and vegan tacos for $13 – while partnering with other organizations to give free meals to the homeless. They also have a dine-in restaurant and offer catering and banquet services. The trio behind MacroBites is on a mission to help rebuild and restore the community and often use their brick and mortar space not only to provide nutritious meals to the community but as cornerstone for community engagement. 

“David, Fritz, and Jarrette, are three amazing young Black men who have brought their wonderful story and vibe to Asbury Park,” Asbury Park City Councilwoman Yvonne Clayton told NJ.com. “They have created a healthy, nutritious and delicious menu in a community that frequently experiences high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. These entrepreneurs are community focused and give back in many ways – including free food giveaways weekly.”


In the United States, nearly 16 percent of Black men are expected to serve time in prison by the age of 25 according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Black men and women are disproportionately incarcerated compared to their non-Black peers, and nearly half will return to prison after their release, according to the ACLU. Through their business and community efforts, the co-owners of Macrobites aim to change the narrative and set the youth in their neighborhood on a healthier path.

“We fell into the wrong circles and behaviors early on in life. And we were able to come together and grow and build this beautiful company that we have that helps to restore the community and act as representation for the youth so they don’t fall into the same traps that we did,” Atkins said.

MacroBites and its owners prove the old adage true: it doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish. 


“Don’t be afraid or discouraged because you might not have it all figured out yet,” shared Georges, 37, MacroBites’ third co-founder and sous chef. “Sometimes that can take a lifetime. The trick is to never give up on your goals and dreams.”

Cover photo: Meet The Formerly Incarcerated Business Owners Behind This Jersey Healthy Meal Prep Company / Photo credit: David Lewis/NJ.com

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