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Cuban-owned chain of economical variety stores with general merchandise and clothing at a discounted price. This family-owned, hispanic chain currently have 9 locations in South Florida.


VALSAN was founded in Miami, Florida in 1984 by Ruben Augustin Valdes Sanchez. Growing up in Cuba, he and his brothers worked in many bodegas owned by his father Jose Angel Valdes. When Valdes left Cuba in 1980 he did not know that he was going to be an entrepreneur like his father. He, his wife Marta, and their daughter Elein, moved to Puerto Rico where one of his brothers lived. He hoped to procure a better future which Cuba could not offer. Ruben worked as a salesman for some of the local vendors, selling a variety of products like sunglasses, wrist watches, and posters. After about two years of working for others, he decided to move his growing family to the United States to take a shot at starting his own business.


Valdes began selling to the local vendors at flea markets and small strip malls in Miami. Eventually, his clientele grew, so that he was able to open his own post of between 400-800 square feet in the strip mall. Valsan sold many items such as earrings, bracelets and necklaces, sunglasses, and coin purses to wholesale customers only. But soon he was successful enough to move to a larger location on the famous “Calle 20” where he also began to sell to the retail public.

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