Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Leroy Candelaria is the founder of Biotech Pharmacy, Inc., he was born in Barstow, CA in 1959; he grew up in Long Beach, CA before his family moved to Belen, NM; he graduated Pharmacy School in 1983 from the University of New Mexico with a specialization in radio pharmacy; his mother was a housewife and his father retired from the U.S. Post Service, his father’s search for work required the family to move often; at home Spanish and English were spoken. Mr. Candelaria explains the service and products that his business provides, specifically drugs that are radioactive; describes when and why he started his own pharmacy; explains that he had opened nuclear pharmacies in the past for others before starting his own business, his first job was with Newmed, Inc.; recalls working at Nuclear Pharmacy, Inc. in Albuquerque before moving to El Paso; explains how he decided to go into business after he felt comfortable with his experience level. Mr. Candelaria describes starting his business in Las Vegas and El Paso due to the monopoly of Syncor International; gives details of funds and amount of time it took; describes how his service is for diagnostic imaging for hospitals and outpatient centers; mentions business aspect was difficult not the technical field; recalls Syncor International filing nuisance lawsuits against him to maintain monopoly. Describes relationship with business partner and attorney John Boettiger. He recounts cost to start up in Las Vegas; describes current structure; attributes luck to business successes they were in Las Vegas before the population boom; details alliance with all three manufacturers in his field to provide better service; explains how business affected family life; covers issues with employees and challenges experienced as a Hispanic business owner due to discrimination, hired non-Hispanics to reach certain customers; defines his target market as the southwest; covers issues with El Paso as a market, uses Las Vegas facility as a showcase due to notoriety. Mr. Candelaria recounts business tactics, such as purchasing camera equipment and leasing it to create a market for their products in El Paso; lists recognitions received as a Hispanic businessman; describes risks and difficulty a new business. Mr. Candelaria expresses that he views himself mainly as a pharmacist that hired qualified individuals to carry the business aspects; Mr. Candelaria closes by stating the climate for Hispanics in business has improved since he started due to Hispanics being in more in key positions now, and stresses the importance of supporting local businesses.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
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Interview with Leroy Candelaria by Manalo Sanmiguel, 2009, "Interview no. 1511," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.