"If it's Goya, it has to be good"
"Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno"
Goya Headquarters (Jersey City, 2018)
|Genre||Spanish and Latin American cooking|
|Founded||1936New York City, United Statesin|
|Founders||Prudencio Unanue Ortiz|
|Robert Unanue (CEO)|
Number of employees
Goya Foods, Inc. is an American producer of a brand of foods sold in the United States and many Hispanic countries. It has facilities in different parts of the United States, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Spain. It is under third-generation ownership of the Unanue family, and is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, US.
Goya Foods was founded in 1933 (some sources claim 1936), by Prudencio Unanue Ortiz (1886–1976) from Valle de Mena, Spain. Prudencio immigrated to Puerto Rico, where he met and married Carolina Casal (1890–1984), also a Spanish immigrant; they later moved to New York City. The family had originally opened a small store called "Unanue and Sons" in 1922; however, it was converted to wholesale in the mid 1930s. Prudencio purchased the "Goya" name from a Moroccan sardine company because he believed that his last name was too difficult to pronounce for American customers and also liked the association to Spanish artist Francisco Goya.
When Prudencio Unanue died in 1976, he left Goya to his sons, Joseph, Charles, Francisco and Anthony. Upon his father's death, Joseph A. Unanue became chief executive of Goya, then a fairly small, $8.5 million company. As president and chief executive of the company, Joseph shared control with his brother Francisco, who served as president of Goya de Puerto Rico Inc., responsible for much of the company's manufacturing operations. Joseph A. Unanue's son, Joseph F. Unanue, was general manager and vice president of Goya de Puerto Rico from 1989 to 1996, when he became executive vice president at the company's New Jersey, assuming the No. 2 position in the company; he died two years later.
During Joseph A. Unanue's decades at the head of the company, Goya grew to become a major corporation. By 1998, the company produced about 800 food items (including rice, beans, sauces, and spices), had 2,000 employees, and about $700 million in revenue. Joseph A. Unanue was ousted from his position as Goya chairman and CEO in 2014, amid an feud in the Unanue family about the direction of the company. At the time of Joseph A. Unanue's ouster, Goya was generating from $750 million, to more than $1 billion in revenue. Joseph's son Andy Unanue, the chief operating officer of the company, also left Goya amid the disagreement, prompting litigation. Robert Unanue and his cousin Francisco Unanue made the decision to remove Andy, who had previously been considered the "heir apparent" to Goya. Joseph Unanue retained a significant stake in the company, and retained a seat on its board; he died in 2013. Robert Unanue has been the chief executive since 2004. The fracturing of Goya's ownership among its founders' descendants has frequently led to disputes about the company's strategy.
In 2012, the company began construction on a $127 million distribution center in the industrial Meadowlands area of Jersey City, backed by state tax incentives that aided the company in its move from Secaucus to the Jersey City site.
Goya manufactures and distributes products from the Spanish, Puerto Rican, Caribbean, Mexican, Cuban and Central and South American cuisine. Their products are sold in stores and supermarket chains throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and international markets. In 2006, Forbes ranked Goya 355th on its list of the largest private companies in the United States.
Between 2014 and 2016 Goya opened five new facilities including manufacturing and distribution centers located in New Jersey, Texas, California, and Georgia to meet rising consumer demand. Currently, Goya Foods is headquartered on a 40-acre (16 ha) lot in Jersey City, New Jersey. Goya also operates a manufacturing facility in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, and a distribution center in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
"Goya Gives" is a program to support various charities, scholarships, and events, and includes donations of products to food shelters and food banks during times of crisis, such as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In March and April 2020, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Goya donated over 300,000 pounds (140,000 kg) of food, or about 270,000 meals, to food banks and other organizations in the United States, and also donated more than 20,000 protective masks.
Donald Trump comments and boycott
At a July 2020 White House roundtable event with President Donald Trump, Goya Foods Co-Owner and CEO Robert Unanue praised Trump, saying that the country was "truly blessed [...] to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder". He drew a comparison between Trump and his immigrant grandfather, the founder of the company, saying "that’s what my grandfather did. He came to this country to build, to grow and to prosper. And we have an incredible builder and we pray, we pray for our leadership, our president and for our country, that we continue to prosper and to grow". In response, there were calls from some members of the public and current and former Democratic elected officials calling for a boycott of the brand. Unanue called the boycott "suppression of speech" and declined to apologize for his comments.
A product boycott was supported by hashtags on social media, and by various public figures, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Julian Castro and Lin-Manuel Miranda. A Goya supporter in Virginia responded by raising over $234,000 to buy Goya products and donate them to food pantries. Goya also stated that it gave two million pounds of food for those affected by COVID-19.
Goya Foods logo and imagery has been "appropriated" by multiple contemporary fine artists who use the images in their paintings, prints and sculptures, most notably Cuban-American artist Ric Garcia, sculptor Alexander Mijares, and others.
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- "Sculpture made out of Goya cans unveiled at PAMM". Channel 7 News- Miami. 2017-12-09. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
- "Local Artist Creates Sculpture Made Entirely of Cans of Frijoles". Perez Art Museum. 2017-12-12. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
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