Ramar Foods of Pittsburg, Calif., is a processor of frozen foods sold in ethnic grocery stores in Asian communities in the United States. It operates a “meat” plant and a dairy plant. In the meat plant on Central Avenue, Ramar makes traditional Filipino foods like pancit (a noodle dish), embotido (meatloaf), highly seasoned chicken adobo and lumpia (a kind of egg roll). Last December, the company said it sold its billionth lumpia since it started 45 years ago. The brands include Baguio, Orientex and Bestaste.
But it is the dairy plant on Railroad Avenue that attracted the attention of Dairy Foods. There, Ramar makes ice cream and novelties under its Magnolia brand. The flavors reflect the Filipino heritage of the owners, the Quesada family. While popular in the Philippines and other Asian nations, ube (purple yam), avocado, red bean and lychee are not the first choice of shoppers in mainstream America. The Quesadas hope to change that.