It all started about a year ago. The women of a predominantly Hispanic congregation couldn’t find jobs that paid a living wage. A former corporate trainer and a local business owner teamed up to provide guidance, resources and support – and The Tamale Kitchen, a social enterprise, was born. Today, six women turn their love for a cultural tradition into great-tasting tamales that generate revenue, create jobs and provide new opportunities for the next generation. In addition to making authentic handmade tamales, the women create, produce and market Spanish language t-shirts. They work with community partners across Kansas City who are committed to making a difference and help to keep costs low.
And they count on people like you who just like to eat good tamales and support our cause. Every tamale you buy, every t-shirt you order from The Tamale Kitchen ladies helps grow the enterprise – and provide a pathway to self-sufficiency for them, their families and their neighbors.
The Tamale Kitchen is a social enterprise, that is to say, a business for the greater good, established in 2015 by a former corporate trainer and a local business man who became its angel investor. The Tamale Kitchen is not a profit based initiative. The revenues are reinvested in the women and families. The Tamale Kitchen is not a physical space (yet). The Tamale Kitchen is so much more than just selling authentic, hand-made tamales. The Tamale Kitchen was created to invoke images of faith, family, culture and values learned around the proverbial kitchen table. The Tamale Kitchen is the working definition of the gender dividend. Place money in the hands of women and they make different choices than men, focusing on faith, family and community. The Tamale Kitchen ladies are from Northeast Kansas City and worship at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church. The church provides its blessing, accounting support and space when needed. The Tamale Kitchen supports the small local business community of Northeast Kansas City, Missouri, specifically Gringo Loco. The Tamale Kitchen has the support of numerous community partners, including Episcopal Community Services, Holy Rosary Credit Union, the NE Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The loan will help The Tamale Kitchen grow our business by providing a commercial grade blender for chili salsa, two insulated catering boxes to transport product to onsite sales, an old fashioned push cart for mobile vending purposes specifically for attending outdoor events and urban sales opportunities and lastly, to establish an website domain to create an online presence.