Posted by: gmontealegre | June 13, 2013

GOYA FOODS heir dies

(ARTICLE FROM THE RECORD)

Joseph A. Unanue, the former chief executive of Goya Foods and son of the founder of what has become the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the nation, died Wednesday, according to a person close to the family. He was 88 years old and lived in Alpine.

Joseph_Unanue2Unanue’s legacy includes a corporate giant with 1,200 employees and annual sales approaching $1 billion — with customers ranging from big supermarket chains to mom-and-pop stores — that still is expanding: Secaucus-based Goya broke ground on a new $127 million warehouse and headquarters in Jersey City last September.

Unanue’s father, Prudencio, started the company in 1936 after emigrating from Spain. Prudencio died in 1976, leaving ownership to his four sons.

Joseph, a decorated combat veteran of World War II, joined the company in 1952, succeeded to the presidency in 1977 and then became chief executive officer and chairman of the board. After 27 years atop the company, he handed over the reins in February 2004 to family members.

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