What if you could support an entire community, just by buying delicious tamales? This is the mission of The Tamale Kitchen, a social enterprise, providing a multi-faceted pathway to self-sufficiency for families of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in NE Kansas City. A priest from the church became frustrated when the problems facing the Northeast side (poverty, crime, unemployment or under employment, lack of education, language and legal barriers) were hindering the mostly Hispanic-congregation that couldn’t find jobs to sustain their families. Founder Becky Gripp stepped in and started this project over a year ago, and now the hard-working people of The Tamale Project turn their love for a cultural tradition into delicious tamales that generate revenue, create jobs and provide new opportunities for the next generation. They work with a team of entrepreneurial partners across Kansas City who are committed to making a difference and help to keep costs low.
Becky stated, “In an era of limited resources, solutions must help communities achieve more with less. The Tamale Kitchen builds the strengths of the community (culture, values and commitment), incorporating human capital, inter-generational model. Not only the women but their children are involved.”
The product: Handmade authentic tamales, made fresh by six woman and sold by the half-dozen. Chicken and Pork Tamales are available and all proceeds from the sale of their tamales goes right back into their community, their social enterprise, and putting an end to the poverty they have been living with.
Other communities are catching on and pitching in to help. The Tamale Kitchen has secured space and their website at no charge through partners that have stepped up. They have perfected their recipe and now want to secure regular distribution and need capital to scale up to meet the ingredients and payroll. They have seen an opportunity for many pop-ups, including a partnership with local well-known chef Chef Jasper J. Mirabile Jr. of Jasper’s and Olive Tree in Hawthorn Plaza. Upcoming pop-ups include September 16th’s Ten Thousand Villages Overland Park Third Friday shopping event from 5-9.
The tamales are delicious and a great way to give back to our local community in a way that will help the future generations of Northeast Kansas City. #supportlocal #givelocal #eatlocal #promotekc