Mexican immigrants Jose Luis Gutierrez and faced a stark choice in the early 1980s to keep his Las Vegas home or his struggling local tortilla production business. His two business partners had already bailed on the young business. The profit did not — yet — justify the hard work required to make the flat, corn-based bread in a 400-square-foot room. Nonetheless, Gutierrez chose to push ahead with making tortillas with the help of family while trying to hold down a second job as a waiter.
Now, over 40 years later, that shoestring business has grown into T.I. Foods, serving tortillas and salsa to casinos on the strip.
T.I. Foods has grown from four workers — Jose Luis, wife Felicitas, son Gus and daughter Teresa, his brother Rosendo (Jr) to 115 team members operating in three locations in North Las Vegas. Jose Luis Gutierrez immigrated to California in the 1960s, where he worked as a bartender and waiter. He traveled to Las Vegas in the 1970s on the recommendation of friends to look at job opportunities. Jose Luis Gutierrez and friends thought they saw a money-making opportunity in producing tortillas for the growing Hispanic community in Las Vegas. They bought production equipment from Mexico and in 1979 began making 100 pounds of tortillas from inside a 400-square-foot room. There was just one problem. “We had no market, we had no customers,” Gus Gutierrez says.
Half the production was thrown away. One partner quit in 1980, the other in 1981. Jose Luis and Gustavo kept their night jobs, both working in tortilla production and Gus also focused on sales. Wife Felicitas Gutierrez began selling tortillas door-to-door in the Hispanic neighborhoods, which eventually opened the road into retail stores. The first big breakthrough came when Ricardo’s, one of the few Mexican restaurants in Las Vegas at the time, agreed to buy their tortillas.
Then restaurants at the Stardust and Frontier became clients, opening the way to casino clients. Today, the bulk of T.I. Foods’ sales come from restaurants, including those in casinos. Over the years, Gus Gutierrez and his team of workers have expanded beyond producing just tortillas. That drove him to change its name from Tortillas Inc. to TI Foods. The company today sells about 300 products.
In 2020 everything changed in our world, COVID took the lives our beloved leader Gus Gutierrez and not soon after founder Felicitas Gutierrez. Today TI Foods is led by an all-female team and its new second generation matriarch Maria Teresa Gutierrez-Martinez and an all-female Executive team. Tortillas Incorporated dba, TI Foods, Los Arcos, and Garden Valley Food (GVF) manufactures and produces over 500 products from chips to salsas. The Gutierrez Family continues to provide the best products and service to our community.
July 16, 2021
Tortillas Inc in North Las Vegas is a family-run business specializing in making tailor-made chips and tortillas. They employ almost 140 people and have managed to maintain the business's family feel, with the owner, Teresa Martinez, taking great pride in the family affair that Tortillas Inc has become. Martinez has had to face tough times, including the loss of her brother and mother, but the pride she has in her family's business is stronger than ever. Watch More....
Oct 2, 2019
The company got it’s start manufacturing tortillas back in 1979 when Gustavo’s father invested in a small tortilla machine and a 400 square-foot building. The family would catch and package the tortillas by hand, then travel door to door selling their tortillas to a Hispanic-dense region of Las Vegas, called “Naked City.” Watch More....
May 27, 2017
Although T.I. Foods might have gotten off to a rough start in 1979, in hindsight it was in the right place at the right time. Read More...
Feb 26, 2015
If you’ve eaten Mexican food in Las Vegas, you’ve probably had their tortillas or chips, which are the foundation for tacos and nachos in restaurants across the Valley and in Strip properties from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere. Read More...