Headquartered in Orlando, FL, with farming operations in California’s San Joaquin Valley and a packing, processing and distribution facility in Coalinga, CA, Spice World Inc. is fully vertically integrated in the garlic business, according to Louis Hymel, director of purchasing. “We are pretty much from seed to plate,” he said.
Although the company sources garlic from various producing areas, including Argentina, Central Mexico and Baja California, Mexico, “we offer California garlic almost all year-round,” he said.
“We are in the California harvest right now,” he said July 22. “We are just finishing up with the garlic out of Baja” but are continuing to pack some of that product.
The California harvest started “a little earlier than usual” by about two weeks, he said. “We are already packing some of our early seed variety.” The crop “looks nice this year.” There is “not quite as much size as we would like, but overall, the crop does look nice,” he said.
Spice World grows “a lot more” of the California Late variety than the California Early,” he said. “We won’t get into [packing] the late until a little bit later into August.”
Spice World offers garlic in various forms. “We do, obviously, the fresh, and we do the peeled,” Hymel said. “In addition, we do the ready-to-use garlic,” minced and chopped, as well as minced garlic in a squeeze bottle. “We do variety packs” in many sizes, he said.
“Everybody likes the convenience of the value-added items” such as ready-to-use garlic and squeeze garlic, he said. They are “really doing well in the marketplace” because of the convenience and also the food safety of those items, “so we definitely see that continuing to increase.”
The company has an organic line of garlic products in addition to conventionally grown garlic.
As the corporate name might suggest, Spice World also offers an assortment of specialty spices and seasonings. But “garlic is our main product,” Hymel said.
“It all started 60 years ago when Andy Caneza began making garlic deliveries in his station wagon along the bayous of New Orleans,” according to a brief history on the company’s website. “Even as a young college student, he had no doubt that this family company would grow into one of the largest suppliers of quality garlic in the nation. After all, he built the foundation with all the right ingredients: Honesty, integrity, and hard work.
“In 1949, Andy set up his first office as A&A Spice & Food Co. in his mother’s basement and made garlic deliveries to local mom and pop stores. In the late 60s, Andy, his wife and six kids would travel thousands of miles across the U.S. every summer, calling on every grocery store along the way. One of the first chainstores to sign with Andy was HG Hill in Nashville.
“A&A Spice & Food Co. established an office in Miami in the early 1970s and renamed the company Spice World Inc. The company values and product quality remained high and business kept growing. Spice World headquarters moved to Orlando in 1981. In 1990, Spice World opened another plant in California, giving the company coast-to-coast distribution and processing plants, and the ability to be eco friendly while providing the freshest supply of garlic to all 50 states. Today, with three generations of Canezas working side by side, Spice World has become the largest garlic supplier to supermarkets in the United States and Spice World products are available at all club stores nationwide.”