Berkeley-Born Alicia's Tamales Teams Up With Whole Foods Market
Alicia's Tamales were previously available only through catering and at festivals.
Image courtesy of Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas
This week, Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas — a business that was born several years ago when Mazatlan-born chef Alicia Villanueva began selling handcrafted tamales daily door-to-door and out of her Berkeley home — is debuting a line of vegetarian tamales in all 44 Northern California Whole Foods Markets.
Until now, ATLM products were available only through private catering and at festivals such as Bottlerock and Outside Lands.
After realizing how popular her tamales were in Berkeley, Villanueva joined the La Cocina incubator program, which offers affordable commercial kitchen space and hands-on assistance to low-income and immigrant female entrepreneurs.
Soon, Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas outgrew the shared-use kitchen and moved into a 6,000-square-foot factory with a dozen employees.
Whole Foods Market buyers worked with Villanueva to prepare her packaging and product for wholesale distribution.
“We are so excited to be bringing Alicia’s Tamales to our customers in Northern California today," said Whole Foods Market culinary director Trent Page.
“Alicia’s commitment to sourcing the best ingredients, coupled with her commitment to creating traditional, handcrafted products made with love, is part of what makes shopping at Whole Foods Market exciting and delicious.
"We are fortunate to be able to help partner with Alicia and help her continue to grow her business, while also giving our customers something truly special and unique this holiday season.”