OUR HISTORY

Roque Olivos' History

Roque Olivos was born August 16, 1929 in the small village called Tauca in the Andes Mountains in Ancash, Peru. As a young boy his family moved to Lima the capital of Peru. Early in his manhood, Roque worked as a salesman traveling all over Peru selling his wares. It was during this time that he started to package his own line of seasonings to sell to restaurants and stores while on his trips. His first seasoning was called "Kozan - Spice of the Orient". He employed his brothers and sisters to do all the packaging while he was away on trips making sales and getting to know his country. He decided to come to the United States in 1965. All he brought with him was seven dollars and a dozen hand-made bronze plaques that he hoped to sell for money once here. He quickly sold the plaques to Herman Jesson, a German travel agent with a great affection for Peru. With the money he made from this sale he was able to start his new life in the United States.

Over the years Roque Olivos and Herman Jesson have remained great friends. Herman eventually returned many of the plaques to Roque over their years as friends. Herman Jesson has since passed and these plaques are some of Roque's most prized possessions.

Chronological Timetable

1970 - Roque Olivos establishes his business under the name Peru's Wholesale in Los Angeles, California. The company begins by selling general goods and packaging spices, herbs, snacks and dried chile pods under the Peru's Brand. The warehouse and packaging facilities were located in the heart of Boyle Heights for nearly 30 years on Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. (formerly Brooklyn Avenue). This primarily Mexican neighborhood lent an atmosphere that became the heart of the business. Roque's entrepreneurial instincts lead him to a market that was virtually untouched at the time, making him one of the pioneers in this industry.

1972 - Roque Olivos expanded his goals and began to introduce cello-packaged spices and dried chile pods to other major cities across the United States, such as New York, Chicago, Miami and El Paso. Introducing the concept of producing private labeled spices to food distributors and grocery stores, Roque Olivos earned a name for himself in the marketplace as a distinguished businessman.

1975 - Roque Olivos opened his second cello-bag spice operation in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, under the name Embasadoras La Gloria. La Gloria was the first spice company of its kind in Mexico. Today, La Gloria continues to operate run solely by Roque's original partners in the venture.

1978 - Roque Olivos opened his third cello-bag spice operation in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, under the name Peru's Brand Spice Company. This company also continues to operate and is run solely by Roque's original partners in this venture. It was during this time of growth that Roque Olivos and a small group of independent business owners founded the Mexican American Grocers Association (MAGA). Roque Olivos sat on the board of directors for MAGA.

1979 - Roque Olivos and another group of Latino business people formed the Eastern Group Publication, the first totally Latino owned publication chain. The Eastern Group continues to operate today.

1984 - Roque Olivos acquires the Piloncillo House, a small business that has produced Mexican candies here in Los Angeles since 1931. The primary products being panocha and piloncillo, a very essential sweetener ingredient in many Mexican desserts such as capirotada. The company was renamed La Güerita Candy Company. The company no longer operates but the recipes and brand names continue to be property of Roque Olivos.

1987 - Roque Olivos introduces PicoDeGallo's™ Brand Original Pico De Gallo seasoning to the market. The term "pico de gallo" literally means the rooster's beak. This term comes from Mexico and refers to the red hot chile used in producing this seasoning. Although, here in the United States the term is used by Americans in reference to a fresh salsa and is very common in Southwestern Cuisine, Mexicans still know "pico de gallo" as the fresh fruit salad covered with the red hot chile powder and salt. If you ever drive through East Los Angeles, you will most definitely see the street vendors preparing these fresh fruit salads and before handing to the customer they will sprinkle this red hot chile pepper and salt concoction freely over the fruit.

1988 - With the success of the debut of PicoDeGallo's Pico de Gallo, Roque Olivos introduces a small line of seasonings using the Original Pico de Gallo as a base. Pico Limón®, Pico Piquin®, Carne Asada, Pollo Asado, Pico Fajitas®, Pico Mariscos® and Pico Sazón® are born.

1993 - PiquitoDeGallo's™ Brand is introduced to the market. This line is a smaller package than it's predecessor produced with the same high standards.

1997 - After nearly 30 Peru's Wholesale moves to it's current location in Glendale, California. With the growing demand for the PicoDeGallo's™ Brand products, Peru's Wholesale concentrates it's business in filling jars rather than the cello-bags of the past.

1999 - Although Peru's Wholesale is still the company's name, the business becomes known as PicoDeGallo's Seasonings and Spices Company or by it's initials PDG's Company.

Present - Roque Olivos continues to operate the business with the help of his son and daughter, George and Susie. The company has developed into primarily packaging the PicoDeGallo's™ Brand products, but continues to do private label packaging for many local and national food distributors. Cello-bag spices are still a part of the business that Roque Olivos started, however the jar line has superceded it's demand.

CONTACT INFORMATION
PicoDeGallo's Warehouse
1714 Standard Avenue
Glendale, CA 91201
PicoDeGallo's Mailing Address
P. O. Box 3622
Glendale, CA 91221
Telephone: (818) 553-1855 • Fax: (818) 553-0398
Toll Free Number: (818) 553-1855

E-mail us at: PDGSpiceCo@aol.com




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