Joseph Unanue
Businessman and philanthropist
Born: Brooklyn, New York

Joseph Unanue, with the help of his brothers Frank and Tony, built Goya Foods into the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States. Founded by their parents in 1936, the company continues the family's philanthropic focus on self-help.

“I'm glad I learned English, and I'm glad I spoke Spanish at home because that's what kept me speaking Spanish.”

The second of four sons of Spanish immigrants, Unanue spent summers packing olives for the family business. While he enjoyed the work, he had other career ambitions. After earning a Bronze Star in World War II, he attended college. He turned down his first job offer because it did not pay what he thought he was worth.

“Instead, I went to work typing invoices for my father at half the salary!”

Over the next 25 years, Unanue learned every facet of the food industry and in 1976 became the company's president. Goya Foods now stretches from New Jersey to California, and from Mexico, Central America, and South America to Spain. Despite his position, Unanue's employees always called him “Joe.” Under his leadership, Goya Foods contributed to dozens of social, religious, athletic, and educational causes that advance cultural understanding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Joseph Unanue, businessman and philanthropist. Photograph by Luis Mallo, taken at Goya Foods, Inc., Secaucus , New Jersey

Joseph Unanue, businessman and philanthropist. Photograph by Luis Mallo, taken at Goya Foods, Inc., Secaucus, New Jersey

“Many Latino immigrants just need a little help, and they will succeed. They're not looking for a handout, they're looking for jobs. All they need is a chance, and they will help this country become stronger.”

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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