1977

February 1977

La Tortilla Factory was founded by Jose and Mary Tamayo as the first taqueria in Sonoma County. We called ourselves a “Mexicattessen” which is a take on the word “delicatessen” but with Mexican food. We sold Mexican spices, chilies and sauces, and of course, fresh corn tortillas that we baked every day.

March 1977

Our logo was created and designed by Flavio Gomez and Wilfred Lowe. A pair of young San Francisco advertising and design executives, the duo agreed to create our logo pro-bono. On the left is an early sketch of the design and on the right is the final logo.

April 1977

Our first location. We started in a 5,000 square foot renovated office space located at 966 Dutton Ave. in Santa Rosa, CA. “In the front, you could order burritos and tacos from the deli,” said Carlos Tamayo, now the company’s Chairman of the Board. “In the back, there was one corn (tortilla) machine and the bags of masa.”

May 1977

Our Grand Opening announcement in glorious black and white! We celebrated with the entire family that day – here we are in front of the original sign. If you look closely, you’ll see Sam Tamayo, our Chief Innovation Officer. He’s the small blonde boy in the front!

1978

February 1978

We begin distributing our tortillas in local grocery stores in Santa Rosa. We have always felt very fortunate to do business in a community that is dedicated to supporting local businesses.

1980

February 1980

To accommodate the growing demand for tortillas, we relocate our operations to a larger building in Santa Rosa, CA.

1981

February 1981

We expand our distribution to Marin, Lake and Mendocino Counties. This is our first team of drivers, with Tamayo brothers Carlos and Willie in front.

1985

February 1985

We begin flour tortilla production. Our President, Carlos Tamayo (left) and his father, our founder, Jose Tamayo (right), pose with their first flour tortilla dough balls.

1987

February 1987

We celebrate our 10th Anniversary in business! Here’s the entire Tamayo Family with our founders, Jose and Mary Tamayo, in the center.

1988

February 1988

Choosing to focus exclusively on tortilla production, we close the doors to our Mexicatessen.

1989

February 1989

Jose and Mary Tamayo retire, handing the business over to the second generation, helmed by sons Carlos, Willie and Mike, with the help of brothers Tico and Bernie. We move the operations to a 15,000 square foot building in Santa Rosa.

1990

February 1990

Mike Tamayo attends the American Institute of Baking (AIB). He is inspired to create the world’s first fat free tortilla! It’s wildly popular with weigh loss programs, such as Weight Watchers.

1992

February 1992

Emerging health trends lead us to create our first whole wheat fat free tortilla. This tortilla quickly gains popularity due to its healthy properties and low carb count.

1996

February 1996

Best-selling cookbook author, Fran McCullough, discovers our whole wheat fat free tortilla and promotes them in her cookbook, The Low Carb Cookbook. She declares them as, “The One and Only Low Carb Tortilla.”

2000

February 2000

We officially create and launch the first Low Carb Tortilla. We are catapulted into national distribution thanks to the popularity and excitement around the low carbohydrate lifestyle. We are the first and only Low Carb Tortilla on the market for many years.

2001

February 2001

Dedicated to leading a healthier way of life, we decide to remove all hydrogenated oils, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup from our products. As co-founder Carlos says, “We want to be part of the solution, not the problem.”

2003

February 2003

We introduce our first organic corn tortilla as part of our vision to create great tasting products that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Our factory is certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI).

March 2003

Mary Tamayo passes away after a long battle with cancer. We still receive messages from people who remember Mary and her homemade tacos, burritos and fresh jars of salsa. When you ate at Mary Tamayo’s taqueria, you never left hungry.

2004

February 2004

We design and then break ground on a new facility in order to keep up with the growing demand for our better-for-you tortillas. Dedicated to the economic growth of our community, the state-of-the-art 75,000 square foot plant and office space in Santa Rosa allows us to produce over 1 million tortillas a day!

2005

February 2005

Committed to strengthening our community and giving back, we begin our collaboration with Social Advocates for Youth (SAY). Now called the Mary and Jose Tamayo Village, the facility offers an affordable, safe place to live, case management, job and educational support, counseling referrals, and mentoring for post foster children at risk youth.

2006

February 2006

A Tamayo family member’s dietary restrictions inspire us to create the world’s first Gluten Free tortilla, made with a special blend of teff and millet grains. Our facilities are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) that same year.

2008

February 2008

In a tribute to fresh, homemade tortillas, we introduce our Hand Made Style tortillas, crafted with a unique blend of corn and wheat flours. These tortillas become a favorite among culinary professionals everywhere.

April 2008

Our Research & Development Team “bakes” history with the World’s Largest Tortilla,

2010

February 2010

Jose Tamayo passes away from complications with diabetes.

2011

April 2011

We are honored as Small Business of the Year by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

2012

February 2012

We celebrate our 35th anniversary!

May 2012

Men’s Health magazine names our Extra Virgin Olive Oil Wraps one of the Best Foods for Men for the 4th year in a row.

July 2012

For eleven straight years our production facility has received the highest possible rating – Superior – from the American Institute of Baking (AIB).

2013

February 2013

We are honored to have been voted one of Sonoma County’s Best Places to Work, by our own family of employees, for seven years in the NorthBay Business Journal.

2014

October 2014

Trail Blazers. Carlos and Willie Tamayo are honored by Sonoma County’s Food Industry Group (FIG) as Food Pioneers.  They are recognized for both their early and ongoing contributions to the Sonoma County food movement and economy. Today there are more than 150 food producers in Sonoma County.

2015

March 2015

We launch a new line of Organic, Non GMO Project Certified tortillas. As organic eating continues to grow in popularity, we are excited to be the first to market with a complete line of tortillas that are both organic and Non GMO project certified.

2016

August 2016

Our family of employees vote us Best Place to Work for the 10th Year in a row! As our family and business grows, we know it’s important to nurture our company culture and values. We are honored to be recognized as one of North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places To Work 10 years running.

September 2016

Committed to baking simply better tortillas, we launch 3 new Non-GMO project verified lines including the world’s first Non-GMO Low Carb Tortilla!