La Tortilla Factory Celebrates 40 Years in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa’s La Tortilla Factory Celebrates 40 Years

The Tamayo family created a company that produces millions of tortillas daily in a factory, located in the limits of northwest Santa Rosa.

Excerpt PrensaSonoma

It distributes more than 10 products on more than 50 food trucks in all of California.

50% of the merchandise travels to each of the 50 states of America and Canada. They also employ more than 340 workers, said one of the founders of the company Willie Tamayo.

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But it was not always like this. The origin of La Tortilla Factory has humble roots.

It started when the family identified Sonoma County as a place of prosperity that, especially, did not have a local production of tortillas. The five Tamayo brothers and their parents had decided to put their savings together and open the business in August of 1977, 40 years ago.

“In that time we were having to educate the population about how to use tortillas,” Tamayo said in the Chipotle boardroom, at the Santa Rosa central complex.

They opened what Willie said to be the first taquería in Santa Rosa. The tacos were made with tortillas that they would bring three times a week from San Jose. The Mexican gastronomic experience was so off in Sonoma County, still without vineyards and wineries, that they thought of a marketing concept to help them be known more widely by the public, they called it Mexicatessen, gatherings full of Mexican dishes with tortillas at the center of the table.

“We had to basically show people how to use tortillas,” said Tamayo.


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Their production of tortillas have gone through the multiple eating habits of the American population.

They introduced low carb tortillas in the 80’s. In the 90’s they presented their light version, and used a Ziploc style bag. Now they have adapted to the market with multi-grain, organic, gluten free and non GMO ingredients, said Willie.

“Our products are healthy because we put an added value to them, with consumers that are willing to pay a little bit more,” Tamayo said.

Now they have a corporation that is integrated by four generations, descendants of the original couple, Jose and Mary Tamayo, from Mexico and established in Nebraska at the beginning of the 1940’s. They had five sons and each one of them —Carlos, José de Jesus, Willie, Bernardo and Michael— have been involved in some part of the tortilla process, Willie said.

We are a family business and want to continue that way,” said Jenny Tamayo, of the families third generation.

La Tortilla Factory just released a series of salsas that mixed with beef, chicken or fish, consumers can make flavorful tacos with their tortillas. And in the following dates they will distribute a special style of chips.

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Guided by three members of the family: Sam Tamayo, CEO of the company; Jenny Tamayo, marketing specialist and Lauren Tamayo, fourth generation of the family and who has learned about the business this summer, La Prensa Sonoma received a visit at La Tortilla Factory in Santa Rosa.




La Tortilla Factory cumple 40 años en Santa Rosa. Click here!