SECAUCUS, New Jersey - Step into any home, and you're almost certain to find something in the kitchen from Goya Foods. What started as a staple for authentic Latino cooking more than eight decades ago has become a worldwide name. Goya products are now found in kitchens all over the world.
But did you know that Goya Foods started in New York City, and its products are produced right in our backyard?
The company had a simple beginning. It started as a storefront on Duane Street in Manhattan in 1936, owned by Spanish immigrants Don Unanue and his wife Carolina. They sold authentic Spanish food products, because they missed food from their native Spain and thought other immigrants might feel the same.
Since then, the company headquarters has moved to a 1 million-square-foot facility in Secaucus, New Jersey, and there are 25 other facilities through out the U.S., Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Spain. At the facility in Secaucus alone, five million cases of rice mixes, dry beans and flours are produced each year.
At Goya, employees believe in providing quality and authentic foods, because food is what brings the family together at the table. Bob Unanue, president of Goya, says a common phrase used at the company is "La Gran Familia Goya," meaning "the great Goya family."
"That's the essence of what Goya is," he said. "It's a family that cares for its own, but also cares for others."
The company gives away millions of pounds of food every year to food banks, the United Way, and other organizations. During Hurricane Harvey, Goya workers, including Unanue's son, were in Houston delivering food to people in shelters, armed forces and first responders. Now they are mounting aid efforts for Puerto Rico, and working with singer Marc Anthony to quickly address the dire need for food and other necessities on the island.