Family Legacy Lives on in Frozen Mexican Food

Dinuba, Calif.—While restaurants across the country are struggling to keep their doors open, frozen foods are as in-demand as ever, with more families cutting costs by eating in due to the recession. Sales are up 22% from last year, according to

And frozen-Mexican food company Ruiz Foods, which operates out of the San Joaquin Valley of California, says it is among those that managed to stay in the green despite the rough economic road.

“Our burritos represent forty cents of every dollar of frozen Mexican food sold in America every year,” said Bryce Ruiz, President and C.O.O. of Ruiz Foods.

Ruiz Foods makes the El Monterey frozen burritos that are sold in stores nationwide. Bryce Ruiz says his family’s story is the American Dream.

"We came from literally less than zero in terms of starting to where we're at today," he said.

Ruiz’s grandfather emigrated from Mexico with nothing but an idea to create a frozen Mexican food business. It started out as a family business, and still is today.

“The competitive advantage we have as a family business is that it doesn’t take very long for us to realize the plan was wrong and we come up with a better idea and away we go,” Ruiz said.

The business has grown to five times the size it was ten years ago, and the company says it is still growing.

And this isn’t your traditional top-down company.

"One of our core values is teamwork. We're not going to call our folks employees, we're going to call them team members. There's not one person who makes all of it work,” he said.

Ruiz foods received the small business award of the year from President Reagan in 1983, and was honored by George W. Bush in 2003. The company says it plans to keep the family’s frozen food legacy alive for generations to come.