Business Overview

As the United States’ Latino population continues to increase, they’re leaving a mark on everyone’s food preferences. Specifically, tortillas are increasingly becoming a staple in many American households. Tortillas were poised to become the most popular bread in the U.S. back in 2003, and today the tortilla industry today is a $4 billion industry that continues to grow.

Tortilleria businesses produce all of these tortillas that people are eating. Most businesses specialize in either corn or flour tortillas, although a few have branched out into non-traditional specialty tortillas. (The information below focuses on corn and flour tortillerias, as these businesses are the most common.)

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who likes Latino food, and especially Mexican food, may enjoy running a tortilleria. Not only do business owners get to make tortillas themselves, but they also meet many other people who like Mexican food through their work.

What happens during a typical day at a tortilleria business?

A typical day at a tortilleria business is full of activity. Business owners:

  • make tortillas using machines
  • package and deliver tortillas
  • clean machines when done making tortillas
  • order more ingredients as needed

When not directly engaged in these activities, business owners spend time marketing their tortillas.

What is the target market?

Tortilleria businesses frequently sell to Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants, local convenience stores and grocery stores, as well as to consumer directly. The market for tortillas is wide open, as they’re a staple of many people’s diets and included in lots of restaurants’ menu offerings.

How does a tortilleria business make money?

A tortilleria business makes money by selling the tortillas it produces. Tortillas may be sold retail or wholesale, usually in packs that have a dozen or more tortillas.

What is the growth potential for a tortilleria business?

Most tortilleria businesses remain local businesses that sell tortillas throughout a city or region. For example, Tortilleria Nixtamal sells tortillas throughout New York City, and Tortilleria Pachanga primarily sells through retailers in Maine.

It’s possible for a tortilleria to become a very large business, though. Gruma, which is a Mexico-based tortilla business, sells tortillas worldwide.