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Selling Tamales Is a Thriving Business in Los Angeles

La Opinion, Posted: Dec 20, 2008

LOS ANGELES -- Tamales have become an economic lifeline during the recession, reports La Opinin. Mamas Hot Tamales Caf, located on Seventh Street near Alvarado, has become the center of the rebirth of MacArthur Park in the last decade. The caf offers jobs, training and help for those who want to start their own business selling tamales.

Joe Colleti of the non-profit organization Institute for Urban Research and Development, together with Bishop Jon Bruno of the Episcopal Church of Los Angeles and Sandra Romero, owner of Mama's Hot Tamales Caf, proposed the creation of a co-op to organize street vendors, train them to operate under the rules of the Health Department, and grant them licenses.

Tamales were the best option for street vendors: they were profitable and because they were wrapped in cornhusks, they met the citys hygiene requirements.

Street vendors began to sell tamales, each with different ingredients that reflected their country of origin.

Five years ago the city stopped funding the project, but Mamas Hot Tamales Caf continued to train and help those who wanted to open their own tamales business.




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