Tucson, AZ

Tucson Restaurant Expanding Nationwide

Greyson F


You’re going to be seeing a lot more of the Tucson Tamale Company in the coming months. 

The Tucson staple, which has been around the city since 2008 with its two locations, is set to expand even further over the coming months and years, but not necessarily in the physical restaurant business. 

Tucson Tamale Company has, in recent years, expanded its catering and wholesale production. Around town, you’ve likely seen tamales in the frozen food section of your favorite grocery store. The local restaurants also sell catering services and it’s possible to purchase a number of the specialty tamales directly through the company website for direct shipping anywhere in the United States. 

In fact, owners Todd and Sherry Martin expect to produce over six million tamales by the end of the year, which makes them the third-largest natural brand frozen burrito company in the United States (as there is not a frozen tamale category they are lumped in with frozen burritos, which makes the sales even more impressive due to the widespread sales appeal of frozen burritos nationwide). 

And now, with the latest news from Tucson Tamale Company, these numbers will likely grow exponentially. This is because they partnered with Diamond Ventures in order to buy Malone Meat and Poultry, which is located in South Tucson. This will give the Tucson Tamale Company direct access to locally produced and manufactured meat, which will help increase the number of tamales the company can make while cutting down production costs as well. 

Additionally, the Martins said they plan on hiring 50 new employees. With the new addition and the ability to bring on new accounts they simply did not have the production capacity of handling before, they believe production will increase to around 20 million tamales by the end of 2023. That’s up from 200,000 in 2008. 

Diamond Ventures, Inc has been in business since 1988. It is a private company that typically works in real estate, although it also handles some equity investments. Tucson Tamale Company worked with Diamond Ventures in connecting with and eventually purchasing Malone Meat and Poultry. 

Of the three companies, Malone Meat and Poultry is the oldest of the three. It has been a major player in the meat industry here in Tucson and the rest of the Southwest. It first opened its doors in 1963 and has been providing wholesale meats to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the region for nearly 60 years. The continued retail to other restaurants and grocery stores will likely not change, at least initially, although that could change if Tucson Tamale Company sees continued growth and needs to dedicate more time, manpower, and resources to tamale production. 

The Tucson Tamale Company will likely not open a new restaurant in the immediate future. During the first few months of the pandemic, the Martins said their restaurant saw sales drop by a good 70 percent. While some of that has returned, it has not yet leveled off to pre-pandemic sales numbers. However, what you will begin to see is an increase in the company’s frozen food presence (including more than the traditional tamale flavors sold and more of the experimental flavors offered, especially at health food grocery stores). 

If you have friends and family who have been wanting to purchase Tucson Tamale Company tamales but they do not live in Pima County, or they don’t want to spend the necessary money on shipping to have the tamales shipped directly to their house they may be in luck, as the boost in tamale production will help push the company into new markets. This will be good news for the local company, as increased production and sales will mean not only additional revenue but the potential to hire additional employees as well. 

So if you’re a fan of the Tucson Tamale Company tamales and want to share the experience with friends out of state, tell them to keep an eye out in the frozen food section in the coming months. 

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