Friday, April 20, 2012

They only paid one dollar for their name but their products are sold everywhere now. The ads from the 1980”s said “Goya , Oh Boya!” The company has become the largest Hispanic owned food company with an estimated 1.2 Billion dollars a year in sales. The brothers who run the company believe they haven’t even began to run with the company yet.
Their dream is to have Goya products in every store and in every home. The company was formed in New York City in 1936 by a Spanish immigrant named Prudencio Unanoay Ortiz who realized that his name was to hard to pronounce. So, Mr Ortiz bought the name Goya from a Moroccan sardine manufacturer for one dollar. I guess no one had faith that his company would go anywhere.
Why? Because like the Governor from Arizona who doesn’t want any more Latinos in her state, the supermarkets at that time did not recognize the Hispanic community as consumers. They didn’t even want them in their stores. Meanwhile the Spanish community was growing in population quickly. The founder’s grandson is Goya’s current president of the food company.
People assume that when a new immigrant comes to this country that they will quickly switch over to American cuisine that essentially consists of a hamburger or hot dog. However, food is a deep tradition for most immigrants. And that, he believes makes his Goya brand so powerful. Hey I can buy beans and peaches from any company Mr . Goya
With the Spanish they are united by their language but separated by their favorite bean. After all give a Spanish guy some rice and beans with onions and they are good to go. And all the iron and fiber makes any Mexican as strong as an ox. Just look at those landscapers go! Ok. Enough with the stereotypes. I apologize. Meanwhile the company offers some 40 different types of beans.
This is no stereotype. The company says that the Pinto bean is preferred by those of Mexican heritage. Puerto Ricans like the pink variety, Dominicans love Roman beans. I like any kind of beans that is if you can take the farting afterwards. Did I just say that? Well , add to that Blackeye Peas, White beans, Red kidney beans more than 2,000 products in all. This is great because variety is the spice of life isn’t it? Try telling that to my wife.
Black beans is what celebrity chef Alex Garcia of New York City’s Copa Cabana Supper Club prefers when he serves up his signature dish Pavion Creojo served in the shape of a can. It is a dish originally from Venezuela and combines shredded beef, rice and beans cooked and served from a can of Goya that is meant to celebrate the Spanish culture so he says. I prefer to think of Spanish culture through Salvador Dali paintings and the great artist Goya but that is just me.
Unlike other suppliers, Goya delivers directly to stores. With distribution plants nationwide, there are no middle men. As a result their prices for their products are the same whether they deliver to a large chain supermarket or to a Mom and Pop small grocer. The  grandsons that have been running the company since 2004 when a messy family dispute boiled over. Some wanted the company to go public but the boys wanted the company to remain private.
The Hispanic population in the United States is now at 16%. They predict that by the year 2030 the population will grow to 30% nearly doubling. So, with that projection, the company plans to stay privately owned and very profitable. We all have our once a week taco night and we should be thankful that one family managed to make it to the top of their heritages food chain and help to promote a heritage through providing the essentials of their recipes available to all. Goya is what America is about. Variety.

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