Goya Foods manufactures and distributes more than 2,500 products.
Goya Foods manufactures and distributes more than 2,500 products.

‘The great Goya family’

Since its humble beginnings in 1936, Goya Foods has expanded worldwide while keeping family values at its core.

February 26, 2018

Editor’s note: A Spanish-language version of this story is also available. A version of this story also appears in the 2017 Wells Fargo Annual Report.

Whether as a small store in lower Manhattan or as an international company with more than 4,000 employees, Goya Foods has always kept family values at heart. In fact, the Unanue family refers to their employees, surrounding communities, customers, suppliers, and business partners as “la gran familia Goya,” or “the great Goya family,” said Bob Unanue, the company’s president and CEO. “We are the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States and the premier source for authentic Latin cuisine, but we are not just a food company,” he said. “We have become a part of families and tables across the world. We have a tremendous sense of responsibility to our society ‘family,’ and as we have grown, our commitment to family grows even stronger.” Toby Babeuf, regional vice president for Wells Fargo in Summit, New Jersey, said, “When you visit Goya, you’re humbled by the magnitude of its international operations and family-oriented management style.”

From humble beginnings to a worldwide expansion

The family has grown quite a bit over its 81-year history. Unanue’s grandparents, Prudencio Unanue and his wife Carolina, started the company in 1936 as a small shop on Duane Street in Manhattan. Today, Goya Foods has 26 corporate, manufacturing, and production facilities in the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Spain. The company employs more than 4,000 people worldwide and manufactures and distributes more than 2,500 products.

“The history and story of Goya is as much about the importance of family and values as it is about achieving the American dream and helping to cultivate the Latin culture in the United States,” Unanue said.

Over the years, Goya Foods has relocated from its original storefront in New York City to its current, newly constructed headquarters in Jersey City, New Jersey. In recent years, Goya has also expanded its manufacturing and distribution centers in Texas, California, and Georgia.

And while Goya Foods has undergone many changes and expansions over the years, it has remained a Wells Fargo customer for 40 years.

“Wells Fargo has supported Goya’s growth and expansion with financing and treasury services to support our evolving business requirements and opportunities,” Unanue said. “Our banking service providers from Wells Fargo have always been proactive in offering and delivering services to support Goya’s needs. They have demonstrated an interest in understanding our business and delivering quality service and advice.”

As the company looks ahead to the future, Unanue said, Goya Foods is looking for opportunities in new and evolving distribution channels and growth through acquisition, joint ventures, and alliances.

Shared commitment to social responsibility

Goya and Wells Fargo share a commitment to serving the community. In 2011, Goya Foods created Goya Gives, a national initiative committed to promoting and supporting the overall well-being of its communities through social responsibility, environmental initiatives, and company values. Goya Gives supports more than 250 organizations and events and helps with natural disaster relief efforts.

“Our social responsibility and commitment to the community is a core value at Goya and something we value in companies like Wells Fargo that we do business with,” Unanue said. “Like Wells Fargo, Goya Foods is not just a business. Our employees and the communities we serve are what we represent. The personal relationships and people-to-people experiences between both companies make our relationship so valuable. We look forward to our continued collaboration for many years to come.”

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