A project of Metropolitan Economic Development Association
Donations to MEDA provide consulting services, leadership development and many other development programs and workshops to MEDA Clients.
Growing up in St. Paul, Minn., Cathy Cruz Gooch is a veteran in ethnic foods retail. As a young girl, this third-generation Mexican American mastered the art of tortilla making at her mother’s side and began her entrepreneurial career with the goal of increasing the market and visibility of tortillas in the ethnic foods market.
For many years, she subcontracted her manufacturing, teaching other companies how to prepare her tortillas. However, Cathy’s entrepreneurial spirit remained strong, helping her to ultimately launch her dream of mass tortilla-making in a joint venture with Sunny Fresh (now Cargill Kitchen Solutions) to create Catallia Mexican Foods in late 2005.
In 2006, the Eagan facility opened with two state-of-the-art production lines and a capacity of 700,000 tortillas a day. In just two years, the business has grown, now operating four automated lines, which produce 1.5 million tortillas daily. The facility is also equipped to accommodate two additional lines with minimal disruption to the existing production.
While the results are impressive, it is important to look beyond the numbers to fully understand what Cathy values most. Catallia reflects her commitment to diversity throughout all levels of the operation. From the sanitation to the leadership teams, 75% of the 48 full and part-time employees are people of color. In addition, Catallia supports the community by utilizing products
and services from other entrepreneurs of color whenever possible.
Based on the value of new jobs created through business starts, loans portfolio clients and Pacesetter job growth, MEDA returns a minimum of $11 of economic impact for every $1 invested.