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Productos Oscar Anticipates Doubling Sales By 2003

Local empanadilla & pastelillo maker to invest $150,000 in new equipment


November 7, 2002
Copyright © 2002 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Local food manufacturer Productos Oscar will invest more than $150,000 in equipment & machinery to increase production and double its sales by the end of 2003, said Productos Oscar General Manager Sandra Barbeito.

For more than 20 years, the company has been selling turnovers (pastelillos), meat pies (empanadillas), and, most recently, tacos to coffee shops, cash & carries, and supermarket chains such as Grande, Econo, Selectos, and Supermercados Amigo. Productos Oscar exports its products to New York, New Jersey, Chicago, and Connecticut; following the expansion it will spread out to 23 other states.

The company finalized an agreement in October to sell its food products at nine Wal-Mart stores in Puerto Rico. The partnership could increase Productos Oscar’s local sales by up to 5% and provide additional sales outlets on both the island and the mainland U.S., such as Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Clubs.

Established in 1980 by Barbeito’s father, Oscar, the company has roots in Santurce, where in the 1970s Oscar managed a store called La Estrella.

"When my father bought La Estrella in 1980, he moved the company to Bayamon’s Minillas Industrial Park, a Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co.-owned building," said Sandra, who took over the business when Oscar died in 1986. "We were able to expand the number of products and offer more than 10 different kinds of fillings, including meat, chicken, chorizo, pizza, soy, cheese, lobster, crab, shrimp, lasagna, turkey, guava, and cheese and guava."

The plant’s 60 employees produce an average of 3,000 24-unit boxes daily while strictly adhering to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. Some of the federal regulations include separate production facilities to cook and prepare the meat and poultry products, maintaining the appropriate temperatures when working with the fillings, and monitoring the products’ shelf life so it doesn’t exceed more than three to six months.

Barbeito is working with Primex on the redesign of its 10,000-square-foot production and warehouse facility. Primex, a nonprofit organization that provides cost-effective solutions by implementing new technology and business practices, will help Barbeito implement the factory’s reorganization and accommodate the new equipment & machinery, scheduled to arrive in March 2003.

"A local advertising company already redesigned our logo, adding more color to our packaging materials," said Barbeito.

"Most of our prime materials are purchased from local companies," she added. "We purchase our boxes from Packaging Unlimited; high-grade flour for our products is supplied by Molinos de Puerto Rico; the cheese from local manufacturer Chesso Inc.; and high-grade meat from Hacienda Carolinas. As a local business, we truly believe in buying locally because of the quality of Puerto Rico’s businesses."

Barbeito’s immediate family is now involved in running the company. Mother Lilia Figueras opens the factory for the workers every morning at 5:00 a.m., giving daughters Sandra and Neyda a chance to ready their children and take them to school.

Sandra is responsible for the company’s sales, marketing, and export activities, while sister Neyda overlooks the day-to-day administration. Brother Oscar headed the company until his recent move to the Dominican Republic, where they are considering opening a second Productos Oscar branch.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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