This Is Who Goya Foods Is Named After

When it comes to delivering quality products, no one does it like Goya. This company made a name for itself thanks to its wide selection of foods and its availability at many major grocery stores. According to Goya, the company hit the ground running when they opened in 1936. The first owners, Don Prudencio Unanue and his wife Carolina Unanue, emigrated to the U.S. from Spain. Now, Goya claims itself as the largest Hispanic-owned food distributor in America and one of the biggest retailers of goods from the Caribbean, Spain, Central and South America, and Mexico.

While Goya undoubtedly dominates when it comes to selling specialty products from Latin America, they couldn't have flourished if not for the hard work of the husband-wife duo who started the original business on Duane Street in Lower Manhattan. By tapping into a burgeoning food scene, Don Prudencio and Carolina found a customer base in the local Hispanic community and offered up staples like olives, olive oil, and sardines. In order to grow the business, the owners needed a memorable name that would resonate with customers. From this desire, the owners settled on "Goya."

Why didn't the owners name their business after themselves?

While many business owners would want to associate themselves with their business, the Unanues followed a different strategy. According to Grubstreet, Don Prudencio counted himself a fan of the artist Francisco Goya. Unfortunately, a Moroccan sardine importer held the name and Unanue couldn't license it. As an homage to the artist, he purchased the name from the fish importer for one dollar and established a brand that would come to dominate the marketplace.

Next time you need to pick up a few specialty Latin American items, you can thank Don Prudencio for purchasing this easy-to-remember business name that no doubt has helped the brand firmly cement itself in the food world. With a lot of marketing talent and a bit of luck, Goya continues to make waves and truly represent some of the best mass-marketed foods that stem from Central and South America. For a product like no other, make sure to revisit their brand next time you need to gather the right ingredient for any Latin American dish.