The Tortilla Industry Association (TIA), Arlington, Va., names Alfred and Frank Herrera, of Casa Herrera Inc., and Ramiro DeLeon Roel, of La Fama Foods Inc., to its 2013 Hall of Fame. The awards were presented during TIA’s 24th Annual Convention & Trade Exposition at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, May 10-11.

Alfred and Frank Herrera, Casa Herrera Inc.:

Alfred and Frank Herrera, Casa Herrera Inc.

Alfred (left) and Frank (right) Herrera have played a pivotal role in the growth of the tortilla industry. The brothers and business partners own Casa Herrera, which has been manufacturing flour tortilla and flatbread machinery for more than 60 years.

The history of Casa Herrera machinery began in 1951 with the late Frank L. Herrera, who put his efforts into building the best quality and most dependable food equipment possible. That goal continues with the Herrera family’s third-generation members.

Today, Casa Herrera is a leading designer and manufacturer of custom machinery for production of corn and flour tortillas, corn and tortilla chips, tostadas, taco shells, quesadillas, burritos, pita bread, pizzas, chapattis and other ethnic foods from around the world. Based in Pomona, Calif., Casa Herrera has become internationally recognized as a food equipment manufacturer with significant presence, both domestically and abroad. As both Frank and Alfred described, they wanted to provide Casa Herrera’s engineering, automation and operational innovations to customers large and small.

Ramiro DeLeon Roel, La Fama Foods Inc.:

Ramiro DeLeon and Yolanda Roel, La Fama Foods Inc.

Ramiro DeLeon Roel founded La Fama Foods Inc. in Longview, Texas, in 1982 with the help of his wife, Yolanda. He began with a single three-row machine and cooked 300 lbs. of corn a day making about 20-25 cases of tortillas.

The company’s product line consisted of only corn tortillas at that time. The distribution area began locally with a few customers and slowly progressed into Dallas, Houston and Shreveport, La. Roel made deliveries until he was able to hire a driver.

With a lot of hard work, Roel slowly began to make a name for his company. In 1986, the company incorporated and became La Fama Foods Inc. The family-owned business now operates six production lines and cooks several thousand pounds of corn daily. The product line has also expanded to include corn tortillas in several sizes, colors and thickness; flour tortillas in different sizes and thickness; wraps; chips; taco and chalupa shells; masa; and tamales.

La Fama Foods’ distribution area has grown as well and currently comprises 14 states. The company now has its own 10-truck distribution fleet and also uses food distributors. La Fama Foods’ second-generation family members oversee every aspect of the operation.

Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery congratulates this year’s TIA Hall of Fame recipients.