The advanced food production laboratory at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has a new name, thanks to a $500,000 gift from Badia Spices Inc.
Renamed the Badia Spices Food Production Laboratory, the space provides state-of-the art instructional technology in over 2,200 square feet of space. Students receive hands-on learning in food production and innovation with access to a specialized area where they can develop, test and taste new product ideas and solutions for the industry.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to continue to build a legacy for my company and my family,” said Joseph Badia, president of Badia Spices Inc. “This contribution will ensure that students with aspirations in the hospitality industry have the support they need to succeed.
Above all, I am absolutely thrilled that this contribution will allow students and faculty to expand their research and development capabilities.”
Badia’s history with FIU spans more than a decade, and this is Badia’s largest gift to date. Both Badia and his company established two scholarship funds at the university in 2004 and 2006, which have generated 10 scholarships annually.
Two years ago, Badia Spices established a spice competition in which Chaplin students were challenged to create an original spice blend.
While all finalists receive a Badia scholarship, Chaplin School benefits from a percentage of global sales of the winning blends in perpetuity.
“We are grateful to Joseph Badia for his continuous support of our students. This endowment will provide the impetus for the Chaplin School to realize its vision for the food and beverage science initiative,” said Mike Hampton, dean of FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “More importantly, we are honored to continue our partnership with Mr. Badia, an ever-inspiring community leader.”
The gift also provides scholarship support in perpetuity for teaching and research assistants working in the lab, as well as continuous maintenance of the facility through equipment updates and technology upgrades. In addition, Badia Spices’ full product line will be available for use in the lab.
Established in 1967 by Jose Badia, Badia Spices is the world’s leading privately Hispanic-owned spice manufacturer with 2014 sales totaling over $120 million. More than 350 different products are prepared, packaged and shipped to 70 countries and the entire United States. For more information, visit the Badia Spice’s website at badiaspices.com.