It seems that the successful entrepreneurial gene runs in the Unanue family.
In 1936, Don Prudencio Unanue and his wife Carolina created Goya Foods in New York. Their goal was to give Hispanic immigrants the same tastes they were missing from back home. Years later, Peter Unanue, Don Prudencio’s grandson, continues to keep Goya the empire that it has become.
As a child, Unanue was always involved with the company, from moving to Spain when his father opened a new plant there, to working in various parts of the company. He remembers the benefit of working there. “Working in a different department every summer, it really gave us an understanding of the general company and how things worked.” He said.
Instead of staying in Goya, Unanue went to college and worked outside the company for some time. He worked as an Operations Research Analyst, a Senior Logistics Analyst at Baxter Healthcare, and then a Project Manager at Merck-Medco Managed Care before returning to Goya. Even though these jobs seem to have nothing to do with the food industry, Unanue was able to use these experiences to make himself a better worker at Goya.
In 2006, Unanue became the Vice President of Distribution and Logistics and was responsible for the efficient operations of all Goya’s distribution centers in the United States. Under his leadership, Goya implemented an automated routing system for customer deliveries at all distribution centers and expanded its distribution capabilities throughout the United States.
Unanue is now the Executive Vice-President of Goya Foods, Inc., and he couldn’t be more proud of the company his family has built. “We’re just really proud to have the position that we’re in today, and we’re excited about growing it for tomorrow.” He said.
In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama reached out to Goya to help with her “Let’s Move” Initiative against the obesity epidemic. Unanue sees their involvement in this program as a true honor. “That feels great to think that the First Lady would think of us and try to get the message out to the community for nutrition.” He said.
In addition to that, Goya was honored by President Barack Obama for its continued success and commitment to the Hispanic Community, in honor of Goya’s 75th Anniversary.
With so many successful years behind them, Unanue reflects on Goya’s success and the future. “It’s amazing to think about how far we’ve come, but it’s also amazing and exciting to work on how far we’re going to get.” He said.