Carrillo’s Tortilleria is a family-run business that “started from nothing” and grew to become a southern California tradition. Today hundreds of customers line up every Sunday at the San Fernando store, kettles in hand and kids in tow, for the Sunday menudo midday meal – a Mexican food tradition. During the rest of the week a steady stream of customers also come for the hand made tortillas, tamales, tacos, chile rellenos and burritos the family and their 15 employees still make their Mexican food in the traditional style.
The year 1975, and the art of handmade tortillas was dying out, giving way to the faster machines that could punch them out by the hundreds. But the Carrillo’s insisted that their plant would continue making tortillas the traditional way. And to this day, workers fashion the Mexican staple from the corn flour with the soft pat-pat motion, and turn the bubbling disks on searing hot grills by hand. Carrillo’s remains family-owned and operated by the founders’ daughter, Amelia and her husband Epigmenio, their two sons Willam, Steven and daughter Yvonne.
Amelia, now 70, has worked in the business since age 19, and still comes in at 3 a.m. on Sundays to put the finishing touches in the simmering pots of menudo, which she personally ladles out to each customer.
Besides its loyal following of local customers, Carrillo’s has shipped their product as far away as New York and Puerto Rico. Carrillo’s has grown from its tortilla factory to include several area restaurants with its authentic Mexican food. During the Christmas season, Carrilo’s sells tamales in a holiday tradition that goes back to its early years.
Calls begin to come in November from as far north as San Luis Obispo and south to Santa Ana. A radio personality even calls in his orders while on the air, and by New Year, Carrillo’s sells more than 25,000 tamales.
Make Carrillo’s your place to come for authentic Mexican food.