Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lisa's Blog

If you like incredible photography you should check out my sisters (Lisa Martin) blog:
She has such an eye and a great sense about the world around her. I'm always impressed seeing her pics. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tamales for life winner

Mimi Stern, a dozen tamales everyday for life...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This is our first big batch of the year. We've picked a handful everyday and then yesterday, WOW. They are delicious. I did a video also. Enjoy

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Boulder, Co

Now this is a farmers market. And you're only seeing a slice of it.
Must be. Over 200 vendors here. Quality.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Denver Monsoon

Just arrived in Denver to a wicked monsoon

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Tomatoes of the Year

Aren't they beautiful? I just picked about 8 of the incredible yellow
and red tomatoes. Too bad Sherry can't be here tonight to enjoy them
with me. But we'll have a ton of them over the next month then we'll
wait for the winter tomatoes.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On sale now

At the Rincon Market.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Waiting for Sherry

She's been in CA all week. She's flying home right now. I miss her.
I'm sitting in a restauarant having dinner solo and listening to
others. A couple in their early forties is on, I would guess, their
third date. The conversation is awkward. But probably not for them.
I'm so glad to be with Sherry


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

It's a rainy Saturday and we have a beautiful rainbow to prove it!
Not often we get one.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Community Board

When it gets full, it's time to stet fresh. So before we clean it off
we thought we'd preserve what all of our great customers took time to

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

So How About Some Tamale News?

We just finished our best month and the trend is continuing. Today was a great day. Relaxed, steady and lot's of happy customers. March kicked our butts (from a busy standpoint), but it's a butt kicking you are happy to have. I'm so excited about what happened in March and what's to come. It's going to be great. And I get a day off on Sunday, all I have to do is house and apartment maintenance:) It's a great life...

Tomatoes, Tomatoes!!!

They arrived! We order some heirloom tomatoes and they arrived today. Every year our tomato 'crop' gets better and better. This year will be great. We need to get them in the ground pronto. So, tomorrow morning, instead of our usual workout, Sherry and I will be tilling the dirt at 6:30am and making little resting places for these beauties.

Every few weeks or so, I'll post an update about their progress. If all goes as planned, we should have some good eats by mid June. I can't wait.

Celiac Squirrel: Tucson Tamale Company

Celiac Squirrel: Tucson Tamale Company

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Maynard's Kitchen

This is the view from where I sit on the patio at Maynards. Waiting
for Sherry and Colette. The staff at Maynard's is great. If you
haven't had the chance make sure you stop in for dinner. Also the
market sells our tamales and they tell us that it's their best selling
product Tell them Todd sent you, not that it will get you
anything... :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New sign

People will find us this time

Setting up

At the street fair

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patty's Day, Tom Sings

It was a blast, Tom sang Irish ditty's while we all worked:) Watch the video:

Dinner When I 'bach' it

Sherry's out of town so I'm eating dinner alone. But don't be sorry
for me. It's a ribeye with roasted sweet peppers. Yum.

PS - But dinner is never as tasty when Sherry's not here. I always miss her when she's gone.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sherry, Colette & Celia talk about Tamales

How Beautiful is This?

An empty deli case. No tamales. Ok Sunday we sold out. That's right,
we sold out at the Shoppe and at the Farmers Market. Woo Hoo!!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Getting Ready for the 4th Ave Street Fair

Grilling 20 pounds of jalapenos. I'll be doing these quick updates all
week as we prepare for the Fair. See you there!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Review

We made the big time today, the Tucson Weekly reviewed us. You can see the article here:
I think it's a grreat review even though there are a few little nits. The Salsas, ho hum?, please, come in and try them, subtle at times but a different way to enjoy. Anyway, enjoy the reveiw, nice things to say about us.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Everyday, Do Something

The picture is all the clothes we have 'under' grown. There are more to donate, but this is how many we have sorted through so far. They are to big for us. I left Intuit one year ago and I have lost over 30 pounds. How? Hard work, sure, lots of hard work at the Tamale Shoppe. But more importantly, better decisions. Sherry has also been losing weight. We eat better. We exercise 3 - 4 times a week. Did we do this all in a day? No. Were there days we didn't exercise, sure. What we did was 'something'. Everyday we do something to achieve our goals. Some days more than others, but everyday we do something. It works. We used to wait until we had the perfect answer, now we know that we simply have to do something everyday.

Don't get hung up or caught in the enormity of the situation, whatever it is, new job search, relationship, fitness, etc. Just do something everyday and it keeps keeping easier and the results are better. Short post on a big subject. I'll talk more about it in later posts. Just do something, it's so much better then getting frustrated or overwhelmed.

The next two weeks are going to be very busy. We just heard the Weekly is doing a review on us this week, good or not so good, we're not sure, but it will bring more folks in. On Sunday, Laura Fitzgerald will be signing books at the Shoppe, her new one, 'One True Theory of Love'. The Sam Hughes Home tour will be coming through the Shoppe on Sunday also. And after those events I head over to Maynard's Market to do a Tamale Tasting. Then next week another article in Caliente about Gluten free foods will talk about us. And the Spring Street Fair is the 20 - 22nd. We'll be there in our same location.

It's been great and it will continue to be so. Thanks for all your support. Todd

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lessons from my Grandfather

Not a day has gone by this year when someone hasn’t asked me if I’m nervous, scared, stressed (insert other verb here) to be starting a business in these times. And they tell me the location is cursed. And some even shake their head when I answer. In dismay. Like I’m not living in the reality of the times.

Let me start by saying that I do understand the realities of the times and I am an optimistic person that is grounded in reality pursuing my dreams…

I’m not stressed, not nervous, not scared. I’m excited. I’m excited at what we’ve built so far. I’m excited at what can be. I’m excited about all the possibilities. And the reality is that business isn’t as great as I thought it would be. I’m working more hours then I thought I would be. But… we’re during alright. We’re breaking even after 3 months in business. After 3 months. Breaking even. That’s something to be damned proud of. The location isn’t cursed. It isn’t a great retail location, but that wasn’t was I was looking for. I got the location I was looking for. A tamale production house.

We’re either going to make it or not. Simple. Nothing to stress about. It’s something you wake up every morning to and put your best foot forward. You go out and do your best. No, you do what is required. You go where others don’t go. You greet every customer. You take every phone call. You sell at every opportunity. You check the quality of every product. You don’t serve something that doesn’t meet your standards even though if it may cost you a few bucks. You get strong and make those around you strong.

We are now in the worst economic times since the great depression. You can give in (quit) or you can find a way. Every day I find a way. Which brings me to the lessons of my Grandfather. He was born in 1901 and grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. He moved to Chicago and started selling insurance in 1930. The Great Depression and he started selling insurance. He woke every morning and hit the streets. He came home for dinner at 5 and went back out from 6 – 9 pm knocking on doors. Cold calling. And he made a good living for his family during the great depression. Others agents were let go. Other agents quit. He didn’t. He succeeded. In 1948 he was the 6th best salesperson for Prudential Insurance in all of America. The 6th best. He never quit. Never gave up hope and had the work ethic to match.

And how did he convey this lesson to me? When I was a teenager he told me about the depression. He kept the message simple. All he told me was how he succeeded. I can still picture it, his eyes would light up, they would get big, big brown eyes full of delight, delight in the life he had led. He told me the story numerous times. I was in the back seat of his car and he would turn around and tell me. At the dinner table he would gleefully shake his fork and tell me. His glasses would bounce on his nose with all the joy in his voice. “Let me tell you something”, he would pause to make sure he had my attention, he always had my attention, “In the great depression I went door to door selling insurance and people thought I was crazy, why didn’t I get a job that paid a regular wage? I told them I loved what I did. They would tell me that the unemployment rate was 25%. Who could possibly buy insurance? I told them the 75% that were working could. They would quit because of the 25% unemployment, I succeeded because of the 75% that were employed. You can always make it if you work hard enough and focus on the positive”, he would pause and always add, “Don’t get me wrong, we helped everyone we could that didn’t have a job, I would even make insurance payments for some that had lost their jobs or couldn’t afford it.

It’s another story but between him and my mom and dad, it’s easy for me to see where I got my entrepreneurial and liberal qualities.

So, at the end of the day we succeed or we don’t. I have control over that. We will succeed. I’ll work hard, so will others. But we won’t quit. We won’t give up. Don’t you. The government and the banks and plenty of others have put a big ole screw on us, but that’s still not a reason to give up. In fact it’s time to stand up and shout, and work and not let the bastards cram us down any longer. Unfortunately some people will quit, some will give up and some will despair. That means we can’t. We have to be strong for our families, for our friends, for others. Make your world happen. Not by wishing, but by doing.

Friday, February 20, 2009

More Volunteers

Wild flowers in the parking lot.

Monday, February 16, 2009

This is why I do this

Long days and weekends are all worthwhile when you hear things like this (from an email a customer sent us):

"My wife and I made our first visit to Tucson Tamale Co. last Saturday. By far the best tamales we have ever eaten (and my wife is a Tucson native). Superb salsa too. We loved the food so much that we took a couple of dozen tamales home with us. We will happily recommend your place to all of our friends. Thank you for Tucson Tamale Co!!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tamales for Life

Details are now posted on our website:
I'll post the video later tonight

Also, if you need a space for a small group meeting or get together, feel free to use the Tucson Tamale Company. There is no charge and no purchase is necessary to use the space. All we ask is that it is during our regular hours and not during lunch. Call Todd or Kirby if you'd like to use the space.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We have a winner!!!!

We have a winner in the 'One True Theory of Love' contest. It is Marion Vermazon of Reno NV. She correctly identified the pages (156-157) and the mention: (starting on page 156)
"Tamales! I'd kill for a good tamale," Kat said. "It's hard to get really good ones in this town."
"These are gourmet tamales and they're delicious," Clarabelle said. "I had a sample when I picked them up. Spinach and Wild Mushroom. It was so good I can't stop thinking about it!"
Where'd you get them?" Kat said.
"From the new place near here. The Tucson Tamale Company. It just opened," Clarabelle said. " And the owner's got these incredible blue eyes and thick, thick eyelashes that are simply wasted on a man."

Well, there you have it. We're in a national book!!!

We also found out that we will be in an article in the July issue of Travel and Leisure magazine. They are doing a story on what to do in Tucson and our little ole Tamale Shoppe is one of the places that they will encourage their readers to visit. It's a good day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


This is a long story that I will try and shorten. Sherry and I were talking and the notion of selling it all, buying a sailboat and cruising the world came up. It's a dream I've had for many years. When I left Denver in 1988 it was to find a boat and sail the world. Then life happens, and quite frankly, it's happened in a very good way. So Sherry and I talked about it. We could get a nice cruiser, outfit it and start sailing. We could earn money by having underground dining at the ports we stopped at. Sherry could sell her knit scarfs and blankets on the internet. I could start writing again. Image meeting new people, wonderful people, eating, drinking, sharing. A throwback life. Shades of Hemingway. Kerouac. The internet could make it all possible (I won't go into any detail here, but it really changes things, the possibilities).

Days on the boat would be spent knitting, fishing, doing repairs, navigating, writing, chatting, cooking, taking pictures, watching whales dance and dolphins sing. Seeing others from afar and remembering those close to you. Idyllic in that Sherry and I would do this together. Side by side.

And our hearts are here. Our hearts are with Colette, she's getting married in Nov. She and Cole will be having children (our grand children!!!) Celia is without Harold and we love seeing her. My mom, Shirley is in Denver and I want to see her twice a year. Sisters, Brothers, nieces and nephews. They all bring joy in so many ways. And friends, what would we do without all of them?

Yes, the thought of cashing in the chips and living off the 'fat of the ocean' is certainly romantic, but the reality of our lives is so much more satisfying because of the love around us everyday.

One day we may take that long sailing trip, but for now we'll enjoy the beauty right here, right now. Every moment counts, we'll use them all wisely.

Free Tamales for Life

You read that right. Next Wednesday we will be announcing a contest to win free tamales for life (of course there will be some legal mumbo-jumbo) but someone, or possibly two and maybe even three people will win free tamales for life. We will post the details on our website on February 11th. That's all I'm saying for now. Todd

One True Theory of Love

is on sale today. Don't forget, the first person to tell us what page the Tucson Tamale Company is mentioned on gets a dozen Tamales!!! Start reading...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cooking with Todd

Sherry did the video. I was just a pawn.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Up Early, Up Late

Working hard is nothing new. Not to me, not to most of us. But I have learned that I'm not 24 anymore. When I first had my own restaurant, The Union Station Restaurant in the train depot in Denver, I would work from 9am to 10 pm, 6 days a week and it didn't seem so bad. Especially not in retrospect. Now, I get up at 6:30, make coffee for me and Sherry, read the paper for a few, shower, make my list for the day and head out the door at 8:30. Make my shopping stops then off to the Shoppe.

Kirby and Tom always have things under control so I just need to do any prep etc for the day. The lunch rush comes and we handle that. Then I take care of any phone calls. Do my prep for the afternoon. More shopping.

At 5 everyone leaves and I handle the Shoppe as Sandy cleans up. We get done about 7:30 and I head for home. Sherry has been doing a great job of getting dinner ready and I have a nice little meal with her. then I do some bookwork, check the online site and I look up to see that it's after 9pm.

I want to write an entry for the blog. I want to do another video. But I'm too tired. I'm not 24 anymore. I'm 50. Happy as can be but with a few more creaks and cracks. When I was 24 I could get by on 6 hours sleep, today I need 8. So while things still need to be done, I go into the room and watch a little TV and then crash for the night.

Why am I sharing all this? 2 reasons, #1 I haven't been posting as much as I would like and I want you to know that I will start posting more. And #2, to get to the point of this post. Our hours of operation. I haven't kept official track, but I would guess we have changed our operating hours about 6 times since we opened. And yes, we going to change them again this week. Probably just shorten them on Saturday and Monday.

And lastly, as a dedicated Bronco Fan, I was rooting for the Cardinals and didn't think I would be disappointed when they lost, but I was. It was a great game and I rooted for them win. Congrats on a great post season.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Maynards Market

Maynards Market in the train depot is now carrying our Tamales in
their freezer. If you're that way stop in and check out the market.
It's a great little place.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Grerat Tomato Experiment Part 2

Still alive and still getting wonderful Tomatoes...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dealers of Hope

The trees seemed a little taller today. When I was driving into the Shoppe this morning it felt different. Something was different. Were the trees taller? Microns I'm sure. Was the sky brighter? Was the air fresher? What was different? Hope. I realized there was hope in the air, around us, in fibers that drive us.

A leader I once had would talk to us about leadership. As a leader, he would say, you are a dealer in hope. I've thought a lot about that. Being a dealer in hope. It starts there but doesn't stop there. You have to have a plan. Whether you're a small one person business, a 50 employee Shoppe, a large corporation or the government, you have to have a plan. And the way that plan comes to fruition is by getting the majority of folks to believe and execute on the plan. That's where the hope comes in. The plan is the seed, hope is the water, the nutrition.

Of course it was the inauguration that led me to these thoughts. I’m trying to lead a small business through these trying times and President Obama is trying to lead our country through these trying times. My task seems small but is a part of supporting the bigger task, President Obama’s. He will succeed with our help. We will succeed with his help. We all own this.

Deal in hope and have a plan.

Basil in the parking lot

I just found a little basil plant growing in the crack between the
sidewalk and the asphault. Must be good luck. Especially for the
little basil plant.