Alex Guzman is a U.S. born, second generation Dominican, one of four children and the oldest son to Juan and Milagros Guzman. Alex’s parents immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic in the early 1970’s with the idea of realizing the American dream.
At the early age of six, and only on the weekends, Alex began going with his dad to a bodega he owned in Queens, so they could spend time together. This precious time with his dad played a major role in Alex’s life, as he developed his passion for the grocery business.
In 1993, Alex’s dad opened his first supermarket, and with the support and involvement of the family, began the successful enterprise that today is the Guzman Group. Ten years later, Alex and his brothers received a remarkable opportunity from their dad, to run two Compare supermarkets in Long Island, one in Farmingdale and the other in Wyandanch. A huge milestone for what today is a thriving family owned business with supermarkets in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.
Earlier this year, Alex was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Supermarket Association, a trade association that represents independent supermarket owners. The association counts with a scholarship foundation that has granted close to two million dollars in scholarships to students from local neighborhoods served by its members’ supermarkets. This was a major feat for Alex, as his family has been involved in the association for many years, and he always aspired to be part of the board.
As chair of the Trade Show Committee, Alex played a leading role organizing and executing this year’s NSA International Trade & Sales Show, which took place at Citi Field in September. The event was an unprecedented success in terms of vendor participation, sales and attendance.
Alex has been actively involved in many worthy causes, including working with his local high school principal to identify deserving candidates for scholarships from the Scholarship Foundation of the NSA, Inc., and the Benito Mendoza Baseball Little League in the Dominican Republic.
Alex credits his dad for his success in life and business, and is grateful for the strong work ethic he instilled in him.
Alex lives in Long Island with his wife Diana and his three-year-old son, Alex Guzman, Jr.
1. Share the greatest impact of your childhood.
Going to work with my dad at his bodega. Looking back, it amazes me that we managed to spend time together while he was both working and teaching me the business. He not only taught me the importance of earning a living but also the importance of family.
2. Define your experience growing up?
My experience growing up made me who I am today. At the age of fourteen, all my friends played after school, everyone except me. I had to go to the bodega to help my father.
3. Tell us some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome.
I have been very blessed with my family and a successful business. I’ve had every day challenges like everyone else. But, I am still waiting for that challenge that is going to prove me as a business leader, as a person and a member of my community. I hope to be ready when that challenge arrives.
4. What would you say was the greatest positive influence on your career?
The greatest positive influence on my career has been my dad. He leads by example and taught me that a man has to work hard to accomplish his goals but also keep his family a priority.
5. As an honoree, what do you hope that being a trendsetter will inspire you to accomplish?
It is an honor for me to be recognized as a trendsetter. But more importantly, I hope to inspire others to work hard and dream. The sky is the limit if you set your goals and work hard to achieve them. I dedicate this award to my dad, who is my role model, and to every Hispanic who comes to the US with a dream and works hard to achieve it.