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From humble beginnings, Diaz Foods now has significant presence

FOREST PARK, GA — In 1969, father and son Domingo and Julio Rene Diaz opened a neighborhood grocery, Diaz Foods, in midtown Atlanta. Business boomed, and soon the Diaz family had five stores. Within a decade, the foundation had been laid for one of the larger distribution companies of Hispanic products in the United States.

In 1980, the Diaz family realized the company stores could benefit from a distribution center that could service other customers as well. Diaz Foods was launched that year to serve the metropolitan Atlanta area. Thirty years later, Diaz Foods has more than 3,500 customers in a distribution network that has expanded to more than half of the United States.

From a prime spot on the Atlanta State Farmers Market, Diaz Produce reaches customers in half of all U.S. states.(Photo by Chip Carter)

With a fleet of more than 80 trucks, Diaz Foods delivers dry, refrigerated and frozen products from around the world, specializing in avocados, fresh and dried chiles, tomatillos, limes, cilantro, yuca, malanga, boniato and name.

Diaz Foods stocks an extensive selection of products from Latin America, including goods from Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. The company also carries a wide variety of Cuban, Jamaican, Spanish, Thai and Caribbean products. There are more than 6,000 items in stock, and 85 percent of those come from Latin America.

In addition to a vast distribution network, Diaz Foods also offers value-added services, like same-day shipping, drop shipments, inventory control, UPS services, containerization and food grade facilities

Diaz Foods has grown along with the U.S. Hispanic community. The company now has more than 350 employees and consistent annual growth of 20-30 percent. A quarter-million square feet of office and warehouse space includes a remodeled, 13-acre complex on Fulton Industrial Boulevard, Diaz Produce on the Atlanta Farmers’ Market and a tortilla-manufacturing plant.

Occupying a prime spot on the Atlanta Market, Diaz Produce is a hubbub of activity. While trucks load and unload, and pallets of produce move to and from cold storage, other employees are busy serving up samples of Diaz products. Hotplates sizzle on tables that are set up near the dock, and the food disappears almost as fast as it is set out.

Diversity is the watchword at Diaz Foods — more than 80 percent of the staff is bilingual, doing business in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English. Natives from more than 15 Latin American countries are on the Diaz staff.

Hispanic Business magazine consistently ranks Diaz Foods as one of the world’s “Top 500 Hispanic Owned Businesses,” with a regular spot in the top 50 in the United States. Inc. magazine listed Diaz Foods as one of America’s 100 fastest-growing, privately held, inner-city companies.