Alejandro Castro is the leading expert in Mexican corn products in the Midwest, more specifically Tortilla Chips, Tostadas, Masa and Tamales. Alejandro has brought together two long standing brands in the Midwest under the umbrella of Authentico Foods, El Ranchero and La Guadalupana. El Ranchero is a Corn Tortilla Chip and Tostada Manufacturer and La Guadalupana a Masa and USDA Tamale Manufacturer that his grandparents started. Alejandro has been sought out by chefs from New York, Minneapolis and Seattle to make their high-end tamales for them. Alejandro has taken the bakery his grandparents started in 1945 and made it a nationally known brand for quality and service. Alejandro has provided the current vision for the company’s growth and assembled the management team that will grow Authentico Foods well into the future.
Initially when Alejandro Castro entered college at the Illinois Institute of Technology, he thought he would study architecture. “I had no intention of going into the family business,” he says now. By “family business,” Alejandro is referring to La Guadalupana, an institution among Chicago area Mexicans for generations. It started as a bakery where his grandparents, immigrants from Mexico, worked before purchasing it with their earnings in 1945. It has since undergone many transformations, notably when his grandfather moved the business to Little Village in the late 1950s and established it as a grocery store, and later, when his father, added a manufacturing and distribution side in 1991 for production of tamales and masa.
One semester of architecture classes was all it took to convince Alejandro that he preferred working with numbers and switched to major in accounting and business administration instead. Though he anticipated opening his own accounting firm after graduation in 1998, he found himself almost immediately taking over La Guadalupana instead after his father suffered an injury. Alejandro hasn’t looked back since.
Alejandro has taken La Guadalupana in significant new directions since assuming the reigns, including moving away from the grocery store business to focus exclusively on manufacturing and distribution. Then came the opportunity to acquire another well know Branded Food Manufacturing Company, El Ranchero. With the help of a Private Equity Firm, Alejandro acquired and merged La Guadalupana and El Ranchero together under the banner of Authentico Foods.
Today, with the demand of Mexican Authentic Food growing, Authentico Foods is well positioned to take advantage of the demand and the economy of scales, with the combining of the companies and their resources to rapidly expand into the future.