Join us as we get up close and personal with another Heart of Orleans business and introduce you to the people behind the companies! Here are their stories.
Business Name*: Artisan de Tortilla / Tortilla Maker
Owner(s) Name(s)*: Miguel Ángel Jiménez Reyes and Maria Elena Reyes Pedroza
Address*:2003 St. Joseph Blvd. Unit A, Orleans, Ottawa ON K1C 1E5
Phone number: 613-698-3776
Website: www.tortillamaker.ca; www.artisandetortilla.ca
Email: [email protected]
How long have you been in business? When did you open your business in the Heart of Orléans?
I have been an entrepreneur my entire career. I am a lawyer by profession and I ran my own law office for 25 years in Mexico, in addition to other businesses in the food industry. This is my first business venture in Canada and, judging by the overwhelming welcome we received from our community here in Orleans, I am confident that this will be a great success. We could not be more grateful to everyone who has shown interest and has reached out over the last months.
Where do you see yourself and/or your business in 2-5 years?
We would like to build a business deeply rooted and engaged in the community. We have a strong base for growth and we would like to continue to build on this. We would like to support our community and form business partnerships with local producers and farmers.
How did you manage to survive the past 2 years, during the Pandemic?
Although setting up the business took much longer than expected due to the pandemic, we have completed our renovation work and now we are in the process of securing the required provincial certification of our tortilla-making machinery, which we imported from Mexico, and the city business permit. We are hoping to be able to announce our grand opening soon.
Any plans for expansions or reduction of service?
We are hoping to expand our family business in the future. Our focus is now on getting it up and running.
Would you recommend a business to open its door in the Heart of Orléans? Why?
Absolutely yes! The Heart of Orleans, with its vibrant businesses and long history as Orleans’ commercial thoroughfare, is the place to establish a business. We are deeply thankful for the support we have received from the Heart of Orleans Business Improvement Association, who have helped us tremendously in getting the word out to the community about our family business. In fact, the BIA has been our first point of contact, a bridge to the community and a big boost for l’Artisan de Tortilla / Tortilla Maker.
What else would you like us to know? (Tell us a little more about yourself or business. What made you decide on your industry? Is there a personal story you’d like to share? What would you tell us so we get to know the face(s) behind the business a little better.)
Artisan de Tortilla / Tortilla Maker is the first-ever tortillería to open in the National Capital Region. We are bringing the authentic experience of a traditional Mexican tortillería to Ottawa. In essence, we are a tortilla bakery, not a restaurant, where customers can buy corn tortillas fresh off the tortilla presses every day, in addition to corn tortilla chips, homemade guacamole and our original salsas – Salsas Carlota. Our artisan corn tortillas are gluten-free, salt-free, made from 100% white organic corn (no added preservatives, additives or artificial flavours). We are using the millennia-old process of nixtamalization, a method by which maize kernels are turned into tortilla dough using water and food-grade lime (calcium hydroxide). What makes our business model truly unique is the fact that customers will be able to watch the full process of turning the corn grain into steaming hot tortillas in store every day. The word nixtamalization originates from the Mexican indigenous language of Náhuatl, in which nextli means ashes and tamali unformed maize dough. The process of nixtamalization significantly improves the nutritional value of maize. A dietary staple in Mexico since time immemorial, corn tortillas are also a staple of international cuisine, a universal culinary language transcending cultures and boundaries. Artisan de Tortilla / Tortilla Maker is the result of a confluence of cultures and personal histories, born of the desire to extend a family connection to our adopted country, Canada. Our homemade salsas – Salsas Carlota – are inspired by great-grandmother Carlota Silvestre’s original recipes from Los Altos de Jalisco in western Mexico, passed down for generations. Artisan de Tortilla/ Tortilla Maker was also born of the desire to preserve the ancient method of making nixtamal tortillas, their unique flavour and aroma, expand their popularity and promote corn tortilla consumption in Canada.