Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Monday, May 11, 2015

La Bamba Tortilleria is Growing, Expanding and Relocating

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2015 at 2:58 PM

Since opening shop in Ohio City five years ago, La Bamba Tortilleria has done nothing but grow. The Cleveland-based, minority-owned business crafts fresh corn tortillas in what used to be called the Culinary Market Building, located behind the West Side Market. That building is in the process of being converted to the Palace of Fermentation, a multi-faceted brewery and culinary production facility spearheaded by Sam McNulty.

The time has come for La Bamba to find another home, and while market shoppers doubtless will miss the intoxicating aroma of fresh-made corn tortillas, owner Leticia Ortiz is ready to make a move.

“We’ve been growing; the demand is there,” she says. “We don’t have the space here to expand.”

This summer, Ortiz will relocate Cleveland's only fresh tortilla factory to a larger facility on W. 130th Street near Brookpark. The move will allow her to do a number things that she was unable to accomplish at the current location.

Since opening day, La Bamba has been producing top quality, fresh corn tortillas that go almost exclusively to commercial accounts like Mexican restaurants. The only retail spot where consumers can purchase them is Orale in the West Side Market.

"It is like buying bread fresh from the bakery versus the stuff from grocery stores," notes Orale owner Roberto Rodriguez, an early booster of La Bamba. 

That will change when the owners add a major retail component to their operation. In addition to selling its products direct to consumer at the new facility, La Bamba will claim space in the coolers at Heinen’s and Giant Eagle, if all goes as planned.

“We want to expand our retail so more people can try our products,” Ortiz says. "There is a big difference in taste and texture between fresh and frozen tortillas.”

The additional production space also will allow La Bamba to add flour tortillas to its product line.

“It’s completely different machinery,” explains Ortiz, adding that they’ll be making them in 6-, 7-, 8-, 10- and 12-inch sizes.

“This is a great local product; we use the highest quality of corn flour and other ingredients. Why not support local if you can. That’s how Cleveland will continue to grow.”

When the new facility opens in July, the company will have grown from three employees to almost triple that. Until that time, you can still pick up their tortillas at the West Side Market.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 29, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation