On April 29th Goya Foods cut the ribbon on their brand new state of the art headquarters located in Jersey City, New Jersey. This 650,000 SF facility sits on 40 acres and is the largest of their 15 American facilities. Goya Foods is the largest Hispanic-owned business in the U.S. and celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2011.
The company broke ground on the facility in 2012. M+H Architects designed the facility to include a 3 story corporate headquarters and a single story food grade distribution center complete with a dry warehouse, freezer/cooler/cold dock, and shipping/receiving. Super-flat floors were utilized in a portion of the warehouse so GOYA could use very narrow aisle (VNA) racking system to improve efficiency. The new facility also includes a fitness center, cafeteria, credit union and company store.
Clerestory windows, skylights, LED site lighting, photo voltaic solar roof panel system, and waterless urinals were included in the design to create an eco-friendly facility helping GOYA achieve a net-zero carbon footprint. “By using floor to ceiling glass fronts on all of the offices and conference rooms as wells as skylights, everyone is able to take advantage of natural light” said Debbie Stamer, Project Manager for O’Toole Design Associates. “Coming from an office that had all tall workstation panels, it was definitely a change for their employees, but it was a change for the better. It is a much more functional space for them now.”
At the grand opening the Weehawken High School Marching Band played while hundreds of attendees gathered for the ceremony. “This was a huge project and the grand opening followed suit” said Rick Hansen, Project Manager for M+H Architects. “Mayor Fulop and Governor Chris Christie both gave very inspirational speeches and it was thrilling to see so many people enjoy the space.”
At the ceremony Goya announced three new initiatives to give back to the community:
- It will donate 25,000 pounds of food to five local food pantries in the Jersey City area;
- It will provide the funds to build a playground at The Golden Door Charter School in Jersey City;
- It will institute a $20,000 scholarship to the Hudson County Schools of Technology-County Prep High School Culinary program.
Goya also announced it will give Jersey City residents the first opportunity at the roughly 100 jobs the new facility expects to create.
Evelyn Fleddermann, Project Architect, said, “One thing about the company that really made an impression on me is how family oriented they are.” Goya is owned by the Unanue family, but they are not the only family that has multiple family members working for the company. “Many of the employees I have met in the executive division have been there for many years, some for over 30; they often greet each other with a hug instead of a handshake. It is a great atmosphere.” Fleddermann added.
Of course no celebration would be complete without a confetti cannon, tours of the facility, and extravagant sculptures made from cans of beans.