Distributor B. Fernández y Hermanos Inc. is marking 125 years of doing business in Puerto Rico, a history that dates to 1888 when three brothers — Bernardo, José and Constantino Fernández — acquired a “mom-and-pop” store in Old San Juan’s La Marina district and over the years turned it into the island’s seventh oldest business.
“The colmado (“mom-and-pop”) had already grown into a wholesale warehouse and an important contender in the fiercely competitive vegetable and animal feed markets, when — as early as in the 1920s — B. Fernandez y Hnos. opted to gain an edge by focusing its efforts on exclusive representation of leading brands,” said Ángel E. Vázquez, the company’s current president.
“We staked the future of our business on building long-term relationships with the principals we represent and our mutual clients, offering maximum quality service, efficiency and market support to ensure effective sales of our products and consumer loyalty; to this day this is the formula that drives our success,” he said.
B. Fernandez’s has predicated its success on introducing and representing brands, as well as vertical integration to include manufacturing of products with a local flavor such as “Pan Pepín,” “Bohío,” “Marvel” and “Don Goyo.” The company employs more than 500 people and has its headquarters in Bayamón.
“We’re fortunate to have a group of 518 individuals with an exceptional commitment to the company and the brands it serves, among them employees who have dedicated more than 40 years to B. Fernández y Hnos., as well as a few fifth-generation family members who have chosen to build their careers here from the bottom up, based on their professional skills and hard work, just as our founders would have expected,” said B. Fernández y Hnos. Inc. CEO José Teixidor.Ángel Vázquez, president of B. Fernández & Hermanos
Since its inception, the operation has evolved from a family business to a more formally structured company that now serves more than 4,800 businesses, from “mom-and-pop” operations to supermarket chains. B. Fernández also manages a portfolio of 287 local and international brands, with exclusive representation agreements for 99 percent of them.
The relationship with some of these brands, such as Ivory Morton Salt, Kellogg’s, Budweiser and Hormel, dates back to the first half of the past century. Other brands that have contributed to the company’s growth, and which it has represented uninterruptedly for more than 30 years, include Absolut, Pillsbury, Hungry Jack, Turrones El Almendro, Pinch Scotch, and Progresso.
“At B. Fernández we are proud and grateful that Puerto Rican consumers have supported the extensive variety of products that we offer and that they choose to enjoy them during the most special moments in their lives, from grand occasions to the most intimate celebrations,” said Lara N. Rodriguez, marketing director.
As part of its anniversary, B. Fernández will run a campaign through the rest of the year, under the theme: “Your best moments are ours as Well, B. Fernández & Hnos. Inc. 125 years.” The efforts include special offers, in-store promotions and contests at a number of retail establishments, including: Pueblo, Napo Vélez, Mr. Special, Amigo, Wal-Mart, Hatillo K&K, Supermax, Econo and Selectos Supermarkets.