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Ruiz Foods HQ Move to Texas Reflects Company's Transformation, Desire for Growth
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By Edward Smith
Published 1 year ago on
May 31, 2023

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A year after Dinuba-based Ruiz Foods made Frisco, Texas, its co-headquarters, the Mexican food processor decided to go all in on the Dallas suburb — a move that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott personally bragged about.

Within the next 18-20 months, the move of the executive offices from Dinuba to Frisco will be complete, said Dan Antonelli, the CEO and president of Ruiz Foods.  Once done, Antonelli expects in excess of 125 employees there.

Only 30 minutes from Dallas Forth Worth International Airport, executives will be able to fly nonstop to each of their plants in Dinuba; Tulare; Florence, South Carolina; Denison, Texas, and most recently, Vernon, California, said Antonelli.

Frisco Has a Booming Labor Pool

Antonelli told GV Wire that he wanted a large local labor pool to draw from. Bringing people to Dinuba required national job searches for people with experience in consumer package goods.

“For us, there are many more candidates for any particular job that we’d be looking for in the Dallas area locally compared to having to do a national search for the same positions in the Central Valley,” Antonelli said.

The Frisco Economic Development Department says the area has an available workforce of 479,714 within 15 minutes of the Dallas suburb. In the city, 64.4% of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In Tulare County, that rate is 15%, according to U.S. Census data.

Antonelli at the Helm of Reform for Ruiz Foods

Last year, Ruiz Foods announced the company would have dual headquarters in Dinuba and Frisco.

Dan Antonelli portrait

“(It’s) very important to look at opportunities for our current product to be sold not just for volume but for profitable volume.” — Dan Antonelli, president/CEO, Ruiz Foods

 

Antonelli said after the success of the Frisco location, they made the decision to make Frisco the sole location.

Ruiz Foods began in Tulare in 1964. They employ 1,600 people between both the Tulare and Dinuba locations, which they consider to be their flagship location, Antonelli said. Their Florence, South Carolina, facility employs 1,300 people. There are 1,200 in Denison, Texas.

In October 2022, the company purchased Culinary International, LLC, a contract manufacturer of Mexican food in Vernon near Los Angeles. The 75,000 square-foot and 43,200 square-foot cold storage expands their footprint in Southern California, an area they are looking to expand into, said Antonelli.

Looking for Efficiencies, Growth

Antonelli took the CEO job in February 2021. Since doing so, Antonelli has taken to transforming the company. He contracted with business consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to evaluate the business to look for efficiencies.

“They helped us think through what we should focus on in terms of business growth, in terms of opportunities for I’d say, efficiency improvement,” Antonelli said.

In an interview posted by McKinsey & Co., Antonelli said the pandemic accelerated the need for changes they knew were necessary.

“After years of absorbing costs, margins had eroded to the point where the company would be unable to invest in its brands and long-term growth,” Antonelli said in the interview. “We realized that to become a top-tier CPG (consumer-packaged goods) food company, we needed to improve our bottom-line profitability — not only on a dollar basis but as a return on sales — in order to ensure profitable growth,” Antonelli said.

Businesses that don’t look forward go backward, Antonelli told GV Wire.

“(It’s) very important to look at opportunities for our current product to be sold not just for volume but for profitable volume,” Antonelli said.

Frisco Move Fits With Transformation 

After they decided on having a co-headquarters, the staff that moved to Texas saw the advantages there. So, Frisco became home to the company’s sole C-suite.

Antonelli said the centralized headquarters and close access to labor “fits in very nicely” with their transformation goals.

Frisco Is One of Texas’ Biggest Destinations

Ruiz Foods is among many companies calling suburban Dallas home..

Earlier this month, another Mexican food manufacturer, Cacique Foods headquartered in Monrovia, California, announced it would relocate its corporate office to Irving, Texas, another suburb of Dallas.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area also leads the nation in apartment growth, according to real estate news website The Real Deal.

Frisco ranked fourth nationally for apartment growth with more than 4,000 units in the pipeline in the first quarter of 2023.

The PGA of America golf group located its headquarters in Frisco in 2022. In 2013, the Dallas Cowboys moved their headquarters to Frisco.

The move by Ruiz spurred Abbott to boast about the move.

“Texas is the number one destination for economic opportunity in America, and I am proud to welcome Ruiz Foods to Frisco,” said Abbott in a press release. “With an unrivaled business climate and skilled, diverse workforce, the Lone Star State has a competitive advantage that continues to attract top-tier companies like Ruiz Foods.”

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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