“Maíz (Corn): It is who we are. It is where we come from and what we are made of. It is our sacred sustenance. It forms part of our ancient memory that goes back 7,000 years to this very continent. It is what connects us to our Mother Earth”
–Roberto Dr. Centli Rodriguez
We at Acapulco Mexicatessen Inc. take pride in preserving and respecting the integrity of the ancient methods of creating the corn tortilla. It is our mission to produce freshly made corn and flour products that are versatile and can be applied to varied recipes from traditional Mexican dishes to new creations and cultural fusions.
We are an integral part of the local community because we provide a fresh product that is a staple food for the Latino population. Our business has grown substantially from the help of our loyal customers that share their positive experiences orally to their friends and family. Our popularity transcends the borders of East Los Angeles, reaching other communities and cultures that crave a fresh taste of Mexican Cuisine. We strive to meet the needs of our clients by providing a good product at a reasonable price.
About the Owner
Ruben Ibarra, the CEO of Acapulco Mexicatessen Inc., has over 40 years of experience working in the tortilla industry. Mr. Ibarra is an innovative businessman working outside the office altering pre-fabricated machinery to fit the needs of his clients and the company. He continually drives change within the organization, at times creating new recipes and cultural fusions while maintaining integrity that pays respect to the Aztec’s ancient methods.
This tortilleria was originally established in 1945. Located in the heart of East Los Angeles, Acapulco Mexicatessen Inc., strives to bring their clients traditional flavor through their variety of corn and flour products.
Mr. Ibarra is as hands-on as they come, and often can be found — not at his desk — but working alongside his colleagues.
Mr. Ibarra knows the value of hard work. His own personal story transcended labels, cliches, racial and cultural barriers to become the man he is today. Like so many before him, Mr. Ibarra emigrated from the small fishing village of Jocotepec, Jalisco to the United States.
The plan was simple for Mr. Ibarra: work hard and earn enough money to return to Mexico and build his own business in the auto repair industry. He began working in small tortilla factories in the Los Angeles area. While working he also studied to be a technician in diesel and mechanics.
By his mid 20’s, Mr. Ibarra began working at El Dorado, a tortilla factory run by Bernardo Gutierrez and Helen Lugo. Continually motivated by the intricate machinery and engineering necessitated in the tortilla industry, Mr. Ibarra flourished under the management of the highly regarded and esteemed “La Helen,” making critical improvements and increasing efficiency in the production lines.
Mr. Ibarra took hold of the industry fundamentals and gained managerial recognition in the flour production lines. By 1982, family members Saul and Belen Casillas — who also worked in the tortilla industry — recruited Mr. Ibarra and his wife to join the tortilla industry in partnership, and by 1983 they purchased Acapulco Mexicatessen Inc.
The company had a humble beginning with no more than 12 employees. It has since flourished to more than 50 employees. Using traditional methods mastered by knowledgeable employees in the industry and investing long hours experimenting to perfection, Mr. Ibarra formulated savory and fresh-tasting tortillas.
Mr. Ibarra’s vision from the onset propelled him to be sole proprietor of Acapulco Mexicatessen Inc., in 2008.
They say behind every good man stands a great and strong woman, and Mr. Ibarra knew this better than anyone else. He married Antolina Mendoza in 1975. Mrs. Ibarra has since been the driving force behind Mr. Ibarra’s ambitions. Coupled with Mr. Ibarra’s determination and strong work ethic, Mrs. Ibarra provided fundamental support that allowed Mr. Ibarra reach and exceed his goals. Mr. Ibarra and his wife have two daughters.
It is our mission to pay respect to the indigenous ancestries of Mexico, from which this stable of food was created. By preserving the integrity of the traditional nixtamalization method in the way we manufacture our products, Mr. Ibarra also pays high honor and respect to the Aztec deity of “Maize Madura,” which serves as the company’s logo.
Mr. Ibarra’s continued vision always will be beholden to the traditional values that has sustained and expanded this company since its humble beginning.