Edit ModuleShow Tags

Raquelita's Tortillas Production Facility is 100 Percent Wind-Powered

The tortilla maker uses local corn flour ground in-house for eateries far and wide


RAQUELITA'S TORTILLAS  |  Product: Food + Beverage|  Made in: Denver

Tortilla savant Rich Schneider runs the venerable tortilla factory with his brother, Raul DeLaTorre, and Raul's wife, Mari. The brothers have worked together for 40 years. Their father, Sal DeLaTorre, bought the company, then known as La Popular, in 1960.

Eschewing retail for the food service market, the 25-employee Raquelitas supplies customers ranging from 7-Eleven to the Broadmoor with tortillas, wraps and chips. 

"Our business is known for being innovative, for being relevant and for still going strong," says Schneider, who often works with clients on custom recipes. 

Many tortillas are made from masa (corn flour) that's ground in-house, and that's an industry rarity. Raquelitas wet-mills its masa in-house for more nutritious products – and a stronger chip. Case in point: 7-Eleven is able to use three ounces of chips instead of four for nachos because Raquelitas' chips are lighter and stronger than the previous supplier's products. 

Schneider says the company goes through more than 5 million pounds of ingredients in a year, much of it sourced from Colorado growers. A commitment to all things local is one of the company's calling cards. 

Take the Broadmoor. "They wanted indigenous and hyperlocal ingredients," says Schneider, who helped develop a custom chip recipe using cornmeal from the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation in southwestern Colorado and sunflower oil from Colorado Mills in Lamar. 

Schneider sees Raquelitas as the artisan/craft/hyperlocal alternative to the mass-market tortillas and chips. "We have been singing that song for a long time now," he says. "Those roads all lead to here." 

In 2018, demand was outstripping capacity by a large margin, so Schneider and DeLaTorre made the decision to retract from a national market to a more regional one. "The pie grew here [in Colorado]," Schneider says. 

And it’s unlikely the brothers will uproot Raquelitas from its increasingly valuable real estate at 31st and Larimer streets. Instead, the wind-powered tortilla factory now sports a colorful mural as Schneider looks for more ways to connect and collaborate with his artsy neighbors.

Edit Module
Eric Peterson

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

Get more content like this: Subscribe to the magazine | Sign up for our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Is the Immersive Experience the Next Retail Trend?

Armchair travelers, rejoice. Visiting your favorite cities around the globe has never been easier, because they're now coming to you.

Colorado Harvest Company Donates to Levitt Pavilion in Support of the Arts

Colorado Harvest Company, a cannabis production and retail company, donated $100,000 last year to the Levitt Pavilion in Ruby Hill Park.

Sarah Tuneberg Changes how we Respond to Emergencies

Colorado native Sarah Tuneberg dedicated more than a decade to emergency response management, from Hurricane Katrina to the Waldo Canyon Fire. During that time, she saw the response system as broken and ripe for innovation.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags