ANGOLA - Members of the Evans-Brant Chamber of Commerce were the guests of Robert Drago Sr., President of Goya Foods Great Lakes, for a tour of the bean processing facility located at 200 S. Main St. Originating as Bison Canning Co. in 1927
Goya Foods Inc. purchased Bison Canning Co. in 1991. Shortly after the purchase, this location became known as Goya Foods Great Lakes and changed from a private label canner to an internal supplier of Goya brand canned bean products.
At the time of the visit, the plant was producing canned chick peas, (a/k/a garbanzo beans) at the rate of 900 cans a minute. In addition to chick peas, this location processes 26 varieties of beans which include organic, low sodium and kosher.
Goya Great Lakes converts over 33 million pounds of dry beans into 5.3 million cases (127,000,000 cans) of canned beans. Its automated processing line is capable of running 1,000 cans of product per minute.
Processing of the beans requires soaking to hydrate the bean and state of the art optical sorting to remove any foreign and extraneous matter. Once the can is full of product a lid is attached and the can will be X-rayed. This process is to confirm that foreign and extraneous matter are not present. Cans are now ready to enter the cooker. When the cooking cycle is complete, the cans will exit the cookers and are conveyed to the packaging line where labels are applied. Subsequently, the cans are checked for label registration and non-labeled cans before they are automatically tray packed and palletized. Once palletizing is complete the pallets are automatically shrink wrapped and transferred to the warehouse for shipment.
In addition to the processing plant is the Distribution Center which is located at 275 S. Main St., across the street. The 40,000 square foot facility was developed to improve service to Goya's 900 retail customers in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Eastern Canada. Goya currently has 1,600 products and specialty items.
Members attending the tour included Chamber president Michelle Parker and husband Mark, treasurer Nancy Furey and husband Bill, Education chair Darlene McDonough, Ed.D., and husband Bob, board member Antoinette Forth, chamber member Bob Biondi, Susan Johnson from the office of State Senator Patrick Gallivan, guests Bruce Rust, Kathleen Buckley, and Barb Wenke, and members Hon. Howard M. "Hub" Frawley, mayor of Angola, and his wife, Marge.