Raja Foods started out as the procurement division for a large chain of Indian grocery stores. In early 1990, Raja was growing significantly and the decision was made to spin it off into its own company. Today, that decision seems like a great one. Raja has grown into a 60,000 square foot warehouse with turnover of over $30 million and has been growing at a 25% annual rate for the last seven years.
Raja imports food products such as rice, spices, and mango juice from such exotic places as England, Spain, India, Pakistan, China and Australia. Raja’s office staff orders all of these products from their warehouse in Skokie, Illinois, receives the inventory, then distributes it to anywhere in the United States. A partial list of their customers includes K-mart and Dominick’s grocery stores, Indian ethnic stores, and some other distributors and other wholesalers.
Raja’s distribution network has become so effective that they now use that network to sell their own brands, Patel’s and Swad. One example of their new line, Swad mango pulp, has been an overwhelming success and sold 50,000 cans the year it was introduced!
Companies with this type of growth always have plans for the future and Raja is no different. Currently, Raja only distributes canned and bagged non-perishable foods, but they are in the middle of construction on a large freezer that will store frozen foods. Raja also expects to start distributing retort items in the future in addition to their current products. Retort items are metal food bags that require no cooking. To prepare these packages, a consumer just puts it in hot water for a few minutes, tears open the package and serves it warm.
For more information about Raja Foods, please contact them at (800) 800-SWAD. or you can visit them online at www.rajafoods.com. Their Web site also contains some excellent Indian recipes and an “Ask the Chef” section that will come up with cooking ideas based upon the ingredients you have in your home.