Casa de Tamales, one of the city’s fastest-growing food companies, is expanding its operation with a 4,500-square-foot manufacturing plant in downtown Fresno.
Owner Liz Sanchez, who runs two Casa de Tamales restaurants in Fresno and a food trailer, said the factory on H Street will be used to launch its latest venture: fresh tamales for grocery stores.
Sanchez said the restaurant’s tamales will be available this spring in the deli case at 40 Whole Foods Market stores and 15 Sprouts Farmers Market locations. She will offer vegetarian, pork and chicken tamales.
Construction of the factory project is expected to begin in about 60 days and be completed by April 2017.
The factory will serve multiple purposes. Along with making tamales for the retail market, it will also prepare cooked beef, chicken and pork for food service and restaurant customers.
A segment of the building will also serve as a commissary for local food truck owners, who need the use of a commercial kitchen.
“There is a real big need for kitchen space and we will be able to provide that at a competitive rate,” Sanchez said.
20 the number of employees currently working for Casa de Tamales and the additional number owner Liz Sanchez expects to add when she opens a factory in April 2017
Once the factory is up and running, Sanchez plans to move out of the former Organic Fresno restaurant on Parkway Drive, across Highway 99 from Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
She used the space to prep food for her food trailer. Sanchez visits several regular spots, including the River Park Farmers Market on Tuesday, the Market on Kern on Wednesday, the Fulton Mall on Thursday and Enzo’s Table in Clovis on Saturday and Sunday.
And if that wasn’t enough, Sanchez said that in about a year, she plans to jump into the frozen Mexican food business, making vegetarian tamales, pork and chicken tamales for grocery stores and food service.
Sanchez’s new factory will employ about 20 people, adding to the 20 employees she currently has.
Casa de Tamales restaurants are located on the Fulton Mall, just south of Tulare Avenue, and 609 E. Olive Ave. in the Tower District.