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.
VALSAN of Southwest
After 17 productive and successful years on 20th street, Valdes decided it was time to expand. Valsan opened its second location on 122nd Avenue and Southwest 8th street in the summer of 2003. This roughly 12,000 square foot location quickly became popular as it brought VALSAN’s goods and prices closer to its clientele further south.
VALSAN of Hialeah
After three promising years at VALSAN of Southwest, Valdes decided to look for a location in the heavily Cuban inhabited city of Hialeah. VALSAN of Hialeah opened for business in August of 2006. This 46,000 square foot stand-alone location, managed by Valdes’ oldest daughter Elein Valdes, has proven to be one of the top locations for the chain.
VALSAN of Kendall
With the help of his daughters, Valdes was able to open a fourth location, VALSAN of Kendall, in January of 2009. In only 5 short years, VALSAN had grown from one location to four, solidifying VALSAN even more in the retail market.
VALSAN of Westchester and VALSAN of Perrine
In 2012, two opportune spaces became available at the same time, and VALSAN jumped at the chance to continue expanding throughout South Florida. VALSAN of Westchester opened its doors in October of 2010 in a shopping center supported by TJMAXX and Publix. Walmart would later open on the other side of VALSAN, making that location even more solid.
VALSAN of Perrine, our southernmost location, was an opportunity to reach new customers. In addition current customers benefited from our goods and discounts without driving out of their way to other locations.
VALSAN of Flagler
In 2013, Valdes opened his 7th location, Valsan of Flagler. This location, also situated in a Publix shopping, is one of our three smaller locations, but is geared towards serving the local highly populated neighborhood of Fontainebleau. Many of our customers take the bus, or even travel on foot and this convenient location provides an easy shopping experience.
Over the years, VALSAN has donated to countless causes and participated in many programs to help students and the community. Valdes has received many awards and certificates of appreciation over the years for his unwavering participation with the Fundación Monseñor Felipe Bello, Allapatah Police Department, The Chamber of Commerce, Edison Neighborhood Service Center, The Allapatah Children & Families division, and the local churches to provide food, toys, and other items to children and the elderly. Valsan has also participated in a scholarship program with Miami Jackson Senior High School, to support and motivate the community’s youth in their continuing education.
Over the years, he has also partnered with local TV stations such as Univision and Telemundo in various events for students and children.
In November 2014 Valsan celebrated its 30th anniversary in business. With the help and support of his wife, three daughters and nephew, Valdes grew his business from a strip mall kiosk, to 7 locations amassing over 150,000 square feet of retail space.
Valsan plans to continue expanding to other locations in order to provide affordable products that meet its customer’s everyday needs.