Andy Unanue

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Andy Unanue
New Jersey, United States
OccupationManaging Partner, AUA Private Equity Partners. Former Chief Operating Officer of Goya Foods.
Parent(s)Joseph A. Unanue , Carmen Ana Casal de Unanue

Andy Unanue is the current Managing Partner of AUA Private Equity Partners, an operationally-focused, lower middle-market private equity firm that targets Hispanic-oriented and family-owned companies. Unanue is the former Chief Operating Officer of the family-owned Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States.

In 2008, he flirted with candidacy for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey.

AUA Private Equity Partners[edit]

In April 2012, Unanue officially announced the formation of AUA Private Equity Partners by partnering with the former principals of Gotham Private Equity Partners, L.P., who integrated their operations into AUA Equity.[1] Unanue and Gotham had been working together for over 3 years. AUA Private Equity Partners is an operationally-focused, lower middle-market private equity firm. The firm invests primarily in companies in the consumer, media and business services sectors, with a particular focus on Hispanic-oriented companies and family-owned businesses located in the United States.[2] AUA Private Equity Partners currently manages five portfolio companies, including Two-Twenty Records Management, LLC, a records information management business and Brighter Dental Solutions LLC, a regional dental practice management company.


Andy was born and raised in New Jersey, the grandson of Goya Foods founders Prudencio and Carolina and son of Joseph A. Unanue. He attended St. Joseph School in Bogota, New Jersey, Alpine Public School and Bergen Catholic High School.[3]

Unanue received a bachelor's degree from the University of Miami and an MBA from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management.[4] He began working in his father's company in their Miami office, working his way up to President of Goya de Santo Domingo. After his brother Joseph F. Unanue died of myelodysplastic syndrome in 1998,[5] he became Executive Vice President. Unanue became Goya's COO in 1999.

In February 2004, Unanue left Goya to establish a family office. Through his family office AU & Associates, LLC, he has made investments in companies such as Opt-Intelligence, Inc., BigFish Games, Inc. and eSchoolData, LLC. He was also a former Operating Executive of Palladium Equity Partners.

In August 2007, Unanue formed Trufoods LLC, which now owns the franchises Wall Street Deli, Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips, Ritter's Frozen Custard, and Pudgie's Famous Chicken.[6]

In October 2010, he married Marie O'Mara in Mayakoba, Mexico.[citation needed]

Candidacy for United States Senate[edit]

In 2008, Unanue was briefly a Republican primary candidate to face incumbent Frank Lautenberg in that year's U.S. Senate election. After the withdrawal of moderate Republican Anne Evans Estabrook, who was initially the New Jersey GOP establishment's choice, due to a mini-stroke,[7] Unanue announced his candidacy in a letter to the party chairman on Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008, while on holiday in Vail, Colorado.[8] He was reportedly considering dropping out of the Senate race to make way for Princeton biotechnology executive John Crowley, but after Crowley signaled that he would not run, Unanue announced that he had filed petitions for the race on April 7, 2008.[9] However, on April 11, Unanue dropped out of the race, and his committee on vacancies designated former Congressman Dick Zimmer to enter the race under the Unanue petitions.[10]


  1. ^ "AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC Announces Its Formation", BusinessWire, 3 April 2012. Retrieved on 17 May 2012.
  2. ^ "AUA Private Equity Partners"
  3. ^ Rispoli, Michael. "Republican may make Senate bid, after all", Asbury Park Press, April 4, 2008. Accessed February 17, 2011. "Unanue and Crowley went to high school together at Bergen Catholic in Oradell."
  4. ^ Business Wire, July 18th, 2000
  5. ^ New York Times, December 4, 1998
  6. ^ Nation's Restaurant News, March 12, 2008,
  7. ^ Margolin, Josh, "Anne Estabrook quits GOP U.S. Senate race, citing health problem", The Star-Ledger, 5 March 2008. Retrieved on 2 April 2008.
  8. ^ Mulshine, Paul, "Unanue fiddles while Byrne roams", The Star-Ledger, 28 March 2008. Retrieved on 1 April 2008.
  9. ^ "Unanue in the race - and in New Jersey - says spokesman"., April 7, 2008. Accessed April 8, 2008.
  10. ^ "Former Congressman Dick Zimmer to run for U.S. Senate". The Star-Ledger, April 11, 2008. Accessed April 11, 2008.

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