Amapola Market: Two Years After a Change of Leadership

Amapola Market changed the reins in March 2021 and has added achievements and brand expansion projects since then.

The grocery store chain is betting on its products gaining ground outside its stores.

Rolando Pozos, President and CEO of Amapola Market, discussed its plans in an interview with Abasto.

“We are more than a supermarket. We are a food brand,” said Pozos, a Mexican-born man who has lived in the United States for 22 years.

He explained that his focus is to expand Amapola products to other supermarkets, restaurants, or private stores.

Amapola Market is a Latino grocery store with 62 years of history in Southern California, with only three grocery stores in Los Angeles, Downey, and Paramount.

“For the consumption of our products, we can’t go so fast to open so many physical stores. We’re going to sell to stores focused on the Latino market,” Pozos said.

Amapola’s core product is tamale dough, which supermarkets are starting to sell.

“Here in Los Angeles, we did a soft launch. We started in mid-September, on our 62nd anniversary, with a group of supermarkets here in Los Angeles, and we will continue to be stronger starting in January,” said Pozos.

Amapola Market-Products-Productos

Tamales are a staple of Latino cuisine, mainly during November and December. Amapola has a 65,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Santa Fe Springs, California, to meet demand.

For 2024, the plan is to start selling prepared food, such as tamales, in partnership with different restaurants and venues, such as a stadium.

“Those are plans to get in by 2024, not just in California but in different places on the West Coast, like Oregon and Washington. There is a significant group of breweries in the Northwest with whom we are looking at a partnership in doing the Latin food concept within their breweries,” Pozos said.

Entrepreneur of the Year Runs Amapola Market

Rolando Pozos, president and CEO of Amapola Market

Rolando Pozos is originally from Monterrey, Mexico, and acquired Amapola Market in 2021.

In July 2023, he received the Entrepreneur of the Year award from Ernst & Young in the Los Angeles region.

This program is one of the most critical competitive awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies.

Pozos was selected by an independent panel of judges of past award winners, CEOs, investors, and other regional business leaders.

Rolando Pozos’ professional career focuses on mergers and acquisitions. He has led public and private transactions in various sectors, including industrials, energy, consumer products, telecommunications, healthcare, financial services, and real estate, both in the U.S. and Latin America.

He has experience in international markets, executing buy-side and sell-side transactions in Europe and Asia.

The Amapola Market Label

Amapola Market began as a small business in 1961 by Don Francisco Galván and his eldest son, Carlos, who sold cheese, chorizo, and salsa, as well as other dishes such as menudo, carnitas, tamales, and handmade tortillas. In 1970, Carlos B. Galván took over the brand.

Each Amapola Market location has a tortilleria, a full-service butcher shop, a bakery, a deli, and a grocery store.

Related Article: Top 10 Hispanic Grocery Items Americans Buy

The Amapola brand specializes in non-GMO corn products, including masa, tamales, and tortillas. Its product line recently expanded to include natural juices, salsas, desserts, dried chiles, and other Latin foods, along with its traditional carnitas and deli foods.

In addition to offering high-quality, natural Hispanic foods, Amapola Market has already launched its first community initiative.

In September 2023, they committed to raising funds and awareness for the Latino Equality Alliance (LEA) youth scholarship fund. This Latino social justice nonprofit based in Los Angeles advocates for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

Amapola Market’s partnership with LEA further exemplifies its dedication to diversity, inclusion, and philanthropy. The organization’s scholarship fund supports young Latinos in pursuing a college education.