Come Together

One of the best parts about the food scene in Tucson is the mutual respect that purveyors, restauranteurs, chefs, mixologists, servers, owners and managers have for one another.
This respect has morphed into friendships and support with one business helping out another or two or three restaurants hosting dinners together.
It’s a good thing,
The latest coming together involves Tucson Tamale and Mamma Llama’s. Tucson Tamale is a local phenomenon that grew from a tiny hole-in-the-wall spot to threes stores and their tamales being sold in dozens of markets Mamma Llama’s is a woman-owned business that won numerous awards and a huge local following.
Kris Masalsky and Vicki Sims were neighbors who discovered a mutual love for the foods of South America, especially empanadas. And in that All-American optimistic “lets-do-this” attitude, decided to make and sell their favorite pies. The result? Mamma Llama’s. At first, they sold at farmer’s markets but eventually grew to a brick and mortar site. After a thirteen year runm Mamma Llama’s closed, much to the consternation of their fans.
One of those fans was Todd Martin. Martin along with his wife Sherry, opened Tucson Tamale in 2008. Tucson Tamale was an instant hit. Their story is worth a whole posting by itself. I promise I’ll do one soon.
Martin missed those empanadas and so he found a way to get the Masalsky and Sims back in the kitchen and now sells Mamma Llama’s four empanadas at all of his stores.
To celebrate this great “fusion” Masalsky and Sims will be handing out free samples of their product at each of the Tucson Tamale stores. March 1st will find them at the Eastside store 7159 E. Tanque Verde Rd. On March 8th, they’ll be at the Northside store, 7286 N. Oracle Rd. And on March 22nd, they’ll be at the original store at 2545 E. Broadway Blvd. The hours at all three events are 1:00 pm-3:00 pm. You’ll also be able to buy one package get one package free at whatever store they’re serving. Please a limit of two free packages.
The video tell the story of Mamma llama’s with some great shots of the women making the empanadas. Their love for their work I also evident, as is their friendship.
I have a good feeling about these foodie entrepreneurs coming together.