Our Story

1996 was the year Tamales Yolanda was born. It all started when Yolanda worked in a supermarket as a bag packer and took items occasionally to customers houses. Being a bag packer, Yolanda’s income only came from tips, there was no salary included and that definitely wasn’t enough to make a living and support her family (rent, food and clothes for 3 kids, 2 girls and 1 boy).  


One day on her way to a customers house she passed 145th street & Broadway. Looking around Yolanda realized there was no one selling food, specifically tamales and she saw a huge opportunity, especially with the Latino community in the area. That’s when Yolanda thought of starting her own business of selling tamales and turned a dream into reality. 

Before opening up her own food stand Yolanda wanted to test out her recipe to see if it was really going to work. She cooked up 200 tamales and walked all along broadway to stores, passing people, and anyone that would be willing to try her samples. It was that that she saw the love in peoples eyes as they ate her homemade tamales, and Tamales Yolanda was born! 

Starting a food stand wasn’t going to be easy but Yolanda was committed. She went and applied for a license no matter how strict the rules were. Of course, Yolanda got approved and ever since that day, Yolanda has made a huge success of selling tamales and supporting her life and family. Tamales Yolanda became so successful that Fortunato (Yolanda’s husband) decided to stop working his construction job and join Yolanda to fully work at Tamales Yolanda. Fortunato has always remained behind the scenes, making the tamales, wrapping, buying ingredients, etc.

Together as a team they were able to double their salary! The demand for tamales was so big that the only way to keep the business going was to work together. 


As Tamales Yolanda continued to grow in the Latino community, the Americans found that they were loving the food themselves. It became such a hit that the NYTimes interviewed Yolanda and Tamales Yolanda ended up in the newspaper! Not only did she make the newspaper but Yolanda was interviewed on Channel 11, and featured on Telemundo (Spanish television channel). Tamales Yolanda was also requested by celebrity chef, Action Bronson for her tamales to be at his birthday party. Today, many restaurants buy tamales so that they can sell them in their own stores, for big parties, celebrations, etc. A lot of people will drive hours just to buy Tamales Yolanda. 


Tamales Yolanda continues to grow with all of your love and support!