At Ruiz Foods, good food always goes hand in hand with family. And it has since 1964, when Fred Ruiz made his first enchilada with his father, Louis, based on the family recipes of his mother, affectionately known as Grandma Rosie.
Today, we have a bit more help in the kitchen. Ruiz Foods has grown to over 3,500 team members across facilities in California, Texas, and South Carolina. And we’ve expanded beyond enchiladas to burritos, chimichangas, taquitos, tamales, quesadillas, breakfast burritos, and more!
It’s taken decades of perseverance and lots of hard-working folks to deliver America’s No. 1 frozen Mexican food and other exciting products to hungry American families. Here are some of the highlights of our journey.
A Father and Son Team … and a Dream.
Fred Ruiz was a college sophomore when his father, Louis, suggested selling frozen Mexican food to local families. And, so, Ruiz Foods began in a small warehouse in Tulare, California, with two employees, a few appliances, and Grandma Rosie’s recipes for enchiladas, burritos, and tamales.
First Time El Monterey® Available in all 50 States.
Throughout the 1970s, Ruiz Foods hit a number of ‘firsts’ … our first in-house tortilla bakery, our first 18-wheeler, and, then, the first time El Monterey® products became available in all 50 states!
Small Business Persons of the Year.
An honor … a privilege … a lifetime memory. In 1983, Fred and Louis received the U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year Award from President Ronald Reagan in the Rose Garden of the White House.
A New Home in Dinuba, California.
To position ourselves for future growth and innovation, it was time to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and distribution warehouse. Little did we know it would be the first of several facilities strategically located throughout the United States.
A Passion for Making a Difference.
Ruiz Foods team members founded Ruiz 4 Kids® to inspire hope and change in children’s lives. This nonprofit organization awards college scholarships to high school seniors and community college students and mini-grants to teachers who’ve developed unique learning opportunities for students.
Nike, Microsoft, and Ruiz Foods.
In May 1992, Ruiz Foods joined Nike, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Winnebago Industries, Inc., and other great American success stories in the Small Business Administration’s Hall of Fame.
A New Brand Launches.
Ruiz Foods launched a new on-the-go snack for convenience stores. Today, Tornados® are America’s favorite on-the-go snack enjoyed by hard-working Americans nationwide.
A President’s Visit.
On the company’s 40th birthday, we were honored by a visit from President George W. Bush. In just under a week, the Dinuba facility was transformed to host over 1,500 team members and guests.
Expanding Beyond California.
To maintain pace with consumer demand for Ruiz Foods brands, we acquired a facility and distribution center in Denison, Texas.
Celebrating 50 Years.
We celebrated 50 years in business with fiestas for our team members and at many of our key customers’ offices.
An East Coast Expansion.
Affirming our commitment to delivering authentic Mexican food to Americans nationwide, we completed our coast-to-coast footprint by acquiring a manufacturing facility in Florence, South Carolina.
Another New Brand.
Expanding into the premium burrito segment, Ruiz Foods launched Artisan Bistro® burritos in grocery and mass merchandisers.