Producer Spotlight: Temo’s Tamales

Our favorite thing about the Plant Chicago Farmers Market is all of our wonderful local vendors! Temo’s Tamales has been dishing up delicious tamales at the market since our first indoor season in 2015. Temo Rivera, business owner & namesake, gives us the scoop below.

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The Business:

Temo’s Tamales is a tiny little business that I started from scratch. I could probably make the same or even more money working extra hours at my full time job as a truck driver, but I wanted to start a business that would create profit and teach my kids to have responsibility. It teaches them to get up really early and help get everything ready, bring the tamales to market, sell them, then come back and clean up all the equipment and put it away.

Favorite Thing About the Job:

I worked full time in a very busy restaurant for almost ten years. It was the hardest, fastest, most stressful, and hottest job I’ve ever had and I loved it. It was very rewarding to open up a cold beer at the end of the lunch rush and bond with rest of the staff. Now we are doing the same thing but the staff is my wife, my sister-in-law, my mother-in-law sometimes, and my two oldest boys. It doesn’t get nearly as stressful or as hot or fast-paced but I still get that same rewarding effect.

Engagement in the Local Circular Economy:

I supply my tamale making operations with ingredients from other businesses in Back of the Yards, and we always spend some money at the Plant Chicago Farmers Market to support our fellow vendors (including a beer from Whiner Beer Co. after the market every once in a while!). [Plant Chicago note: Temo’s Tamales also recently switched over from using styrofoam trays to using reusable & recyclable aluminum trays for storing and serving their tamales].

Experience at The Plant: 

The Plant is full of very smart people determined to make the world a better place, I know it sounds corny but that’s exactly the way I see it. I am glad I found Plant Chicago and that they gave me the opportunity to be a vendor at the market. I’ve learned a lot; they truly inspire you to be a little more conscious about unnecessary things we do all the time that harm the environment.

On the Plant Chicago Farmers Market:

We offer three types of very simple tamales: slow cooked pulled pork in a red sauce made with sun dried red peppers garlic and spices, shredded chicken in a green sauce made with tomatillo and jalapeño peppers, and my personal favorite jalapeño and cheese (simple but very good!).

See Temo serving up tamales at the market in our farmers market video, and then come try some at the next market!

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