The story of the Tampico Spice Company is the story of the American dream.
Jesus Martinez was born in California before the time of the 1929 stock market crash. Although his childhood in Los Angeles was marked by the poverty of the Great Depression, he was a firm believer that hard work and perseverance were the keys to success.
The $35 Beginning
In 1947 Mr. Martinez scraped together $35 to buy his first inventory of spices, which he immediately repackaged into small cellophane packets. Mr. Martinez then peddled his spices door-to-door to all the corner markets in the Los Angeles, California area. His $35 investment turned into a $50 profit, which he used to buy more spices. Tampico Spice Company – one of the first companies in the world to package spices in cellophane bags for enhanced visibility and convenience – was born!
Mr. Martinez’ routine was to get up early, deliver the prior day’s orders, then go door-to-door until he visited 10 new markets, and finally go home to pack up the products for the next day’s deliveries. It was hard work, but it paid off.
With his dedication, over time the company grew and grew. A facility was opened, and machinery was purchased. Soon Tampico Spice imported spices, processed their own herbs and spices, and became spice blenders. The product line grew to include more sizes (everything from the small cellophane packets to 300-pound barrels) and a bigger variety of herbs and spices. Upon graduation from college, Jesus’ son George joined the business. His daughter came on board, too. Under their leadership Tampico Spice Company expanded into the industrial and institutional markets, started offering private label spices, and much more.
A Successful Player in the Spice Industry
Today Tampico Spice Company is an established and recognized food processor selling herbs and spices across the Western United States. Still family owned and operated, and located in Los Angeles, the third generation of the Martinez family has now joined the team.
The future is looking bright (and spicy!) at Tampico.
Giving Back to the Community
Since the beginning, Mr. and Mrs. Martinez always believed in the value and importance of education. That’s why Tampico supports the local schools, encouraging students to work hard and stay in school. From food and school supply donations to hosting holiday celebrations for local students, Tampico supports the community.
Can You Keep a Secret?
Chefs at the region’s most competitive chili cook-offs rely on Tampico Spices as their secret ingredients. They put our spices into generic packages (or even disguise them in bottles of other spice brands) to trick fellow contestants!