Audacy: Brian Seltzer - August 4, 2022
“They call me a chef,” said Courtney Boyd with a chuckle, almost in disbelief. “I am not a chef.”
Patrons of Triple Bottom Brewing in West Poplar, however, might disagree with Boyd’s modest claim. His white bean dip and his French onion grilled cheese sandwich get rave reviews.
“I like the idea of seeing people’s faces when they’re enjoying the food,” said Boyd, a member of Triple Bottom’s food prep and snack team. “I enjoy that people appreciate it, and sometimes you get those compliments back.”
Boyd was one of Triple Bottom’s first hires, joining the brewery before it opened at Ninth and Spring Garden streets in 2019. He had no prior experience in the hospitality industry.
Just two years earlier, Boyd was in prison. He was serving a juvenile life sentence but was released following two major U.S. Supreme Court decisions — Miller v. Alabama in 2012, and Montgomery v. Louisiana in 2016. The former held that mandatory life sentences without possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders; the latter made it retroactive.
To Triple Bottom, Boyd having a felony on his record wasn’t a deal-breaker. That’s because the brewery is a “fair chance” business. The city's Fair Chance Hiring Initiative integrates formerly incarcerated people into the workforce by referring them for open positions and giving financial incentives to businesses that hire them.
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