A dream come true.
Those were the words of Cathy Cruz Gooch, President and CEO of Catallia Mexican Foods, in 2005 when the company entered a joint venture with Cargill.
Catallia started their journey in 1985 as a start-up supplying tortillas to niche customers. Since the joint venture, the company has grown into owning their own tortilla factory in Eagan, Minnesota and supplying many retail, broadline distributors, large-named brands, and other national and private label accounts.
Catallia has a unique place in Cargill’s supply chain as both a supplier and customer. The joint venture began with Catallia supplying a major quick service restaurant with flour tortillas, eventually expanding their product offerings into other flavors including corn tortilla varieties. A majority of Catallia tortillas consist of Cargill ingredients, including Wheatselect flour and Clear Valley canola oil.
“I want to express my gratitude to Cargill. Tortillas, being the bread of Mexico, have always been a passion for my family and me. With the support of Cargill, I am proud to bring my family’s craft to this community, Minnesota, and North America,” Cathy said.
Catallia was already in business for several years before its first experience with certifying organizations like the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) and the Midwest Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC). These organizations consult companies like Catallia to help them grow and succeed. Having a diverse-owned supplier certification has helped Catallia expand its opportunities with larger companies through their supplier diversity teams.
Sunny Fresh Foods, Cargill’s supplier diversity team and its business units championed Catallia and connected Cathy with the resources she needed. This collaborative effort resulted in business that was mutually beneficial for both Cargill and Catallia.
“We have grown this business together. The Cargill team has been remarkable to work with,” added Cathy.