Our American Dream: Goya Foods

The Goya Foods brand is a staple in the Latin community. Today it's the largest, Hispanic-owned food company in the world.

"We produce in one shift here 25,000 cases. We have 26 different facilities distributions, manufactures around the global," said Robert Unanue, CEO and president of Goya Foods.

Goya produces more than 2,500 different food items including condiments, beverages, and frozen foods in addition to the rice, beans, and spices. 

It's a family-owned business and it has been for 5 generations. 

Robert and Peter Unanue's grandfather, Don Prudencio Unanue arrived from Spain at the age of 18. He first went to Puerto Rico and then came to New York.

It was 1936, Don Prudencio was 49 years old. He had $1 and a vision.

"He missed tastes from home and he had an idea that other immigrants also missed taste from home," said Peter Unanue Executive Vice President of Goya Foods.

Don Prudencio started to brining in food products from Spain for the Spanish community living in New York.

"During the Spanish civil war those products, supplies dried up, so he had to find different products. He found 500 cases of sardines in Morocco, bought those cases with the Goya name on it. And he liked the name it's tied to the Francisco Goya the painter in Spain," said Unanue. 

They sold him the brand for $1. He started importing olives, olive oil, sardines, and other fish products from Galicia, the north part of Spain. 

It wasn't until the late 1970s when Goya products started filling the shelves of supermarkets. 

Robert and Perter Unanue are third generation. Today they manage 26 facilities across the U.S. and globally. One of those facilities is in Secaucus New Jersey. They employ 4,500 workers.