Attention: Tamale Addicts!

Gardener’s Feast Tamales: Feed Your Tamale Addiction!

Gardener’s Feast Tamales are famous for being fresh, organic, local, and delicious! Since their first market in 2010, these tamales have managed to collect a following of Austin Tamale Addicts. Gardener’s Feast is now at ten area farmers markets and their tamales are also available in local coffee shops. Sounds like a successful story, right? What people don’t know about is the story behind this success.

In 2009, right in the middle of the financial crisis, Adrian Paredes found himself at a professional plateau as an industrial designer. Like so many others affected by the financial crash, ends weren’t meeting and Adrian knew he needed to move and find another job. He focused on saving enough to relocate his family to our lovely city: Austin, TX.  Once here, Adrian and his wife took a risk and began their first food service venture: Mexican desserts. In short, the business failed. It failed hard.

It is in this instance that many people would have called it quits. Instead, Adrian and his wife took it as a lesson learned and, rather than giving up, they adapted and started again. They realized that the infrastructure problem they had with making desserts did not apply to savory foods so they began a flauta business. It was going ok, so the Paredeses looked into selling flautas at farmer’s markets.

When telling me about his first meeting with a market director, Adrian admitted, “I didn’t know anything. I mean, I didn’t know the difference between vegetarian and vegan. I didn’t know what local meant.” Again, Adrian rose to the task before him: going organic and local. Adrian said it was “Very difficult, but a positive change. It started as just a standard, but now we are all fully invested in the local cause.”

As Adrian was showing off his new market setup with the flautas, the market director casually asked if they could also make tamales. That was the beginning of the Tamale Addiction! Over the next four weeks Adrian and his wife called every family member they knew to collect recipes, tips, and tricks about making tamales. They worked all week to prepare 80 tamales for their first market. Those tamales were sold out within an hour. Adrian had found the magic! They went from producing 80 tamales a week to nearly 1500 a day!

Adrian says he has big plans for Gardner’s Feast’s a.k.a. Tamale Addiction’s future. He feels a responsibility to keep making his product better and better. “It’s encouraging to have that immediate response from people… I just love that. It feels good to see a bright future for your business.”

No one deserves success more in my mind. This family hasn’t given up. They took each failure and each criticism as an opportunity to do better. What I love most about Adrian’s story is that it really demonstrates how hard-work, perseverance, and a little creativity can change a life around. Despite what the local news seems to indicate, there are still lots of good stories out there. This is definitely one of them.

So next Sunday when you come by the HOPE Farmer’s Market, be sure to check out these tasty tamales. Or if you’d like to order some for emergencies – in the case of the Armageddon, a surprise in-law visit, or bad break-up – check out their website at http://www.thegardenersfeast.com/tamales.

Facebook: The Gardener’s Feast

Twitter: gardenersfeast

 

 

 

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. Right now I’m applying to graduate school like crazy so hopefully I will be able to continue my studies. Every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland for 5 months.