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La Canasta Company History
La Canasta was founded by Richard and Carmen Abril in 1962. The business started in Phoenix, Arizona by supplying the Hispanic community with fresh, hand made flour and corn tortillas. Word of mouth spread the news about La Canasta having the Best Tasting Homemade Tortillas in town! Eventually Mexican food restaurant owners began coming to pick up tortillas for their businesses. The demand grew so much that we decided to add a delivery service to the restaurant establishments. As the food service industry grew in Arizona, so did La Canasta foodservice tortilla production.
Today, La Canasta is Kosher Certified and is an SQF certified facility, Certified Minority & Woman owned by the second generation family members. We have over 130 employees operating our production facilityproducing over 2.5 million tortillas daily for local and national accounts. Our Phoenix production facility is one of the most modern in the tortilla industry. In July of 1999, La Canasta was honored with a visit from President Clinton in his efforts to recognize small business contributions to our national economy.
While La Canasta had always produced tortillas chips for Mexican Food Restaurants, we felt that there was a market for an Authentic Original Stone Ground Restaurant Style Tortilla chip that consumers could also only enjoy at Home. Thus, in 1993, My Nana’s™ “Best Tasting” Tortilla Chips became a retail product offering for consumers. The idea was to allow consumers to have the same Authentic Restaurant Quality Tortilla chips at home.Customers just needed to “Heat and Serve” as many Mexican Food Restaurants do. La Canasta provides My Nana’s™ Tortilla Chips in the bakery/deli departments of retail grocery stores. Since 2002 My Nana’s™ Tortilla Chips and Salsas have rated in the Top 5 SKU ‘s with Scan Data, measured in the Arizona snack food sales categories.
In 2007 we introduced My Nana’s™ “Easy to Cook” Uncooked Flour Tortillas and are sold in the Dairy / Deli department of the retailers. There’s nothing like My Nana’s™ Fresh Homemade Tortillas! Simple and Easy to make! They have proven consumer acceptance beyond our expectations.
2010, we introduced My Nana’s™ “Traditional” Hot Sauce and “Restaurant Style” Salsa Fresca to compliment our Tortilla Chips and our Uncooked Tortillas.Hot Salsa Fresca is our most recent addition to My Nana’s Best Tasting brand. Our new products are expected to continue on a historical growth trend.
In 2013 we launched a full line of “Bakery Fresh” Flour Tortillas which are sold from the “Bakery Department” in retail grocery stores. To date, My Nana’s “Bakery Fresh” Tortillas have ranked in the top 3 sellers in the largest retailer in the Arizona Market.
In 2018,our focus on new product developmentprovided us an opportunity to utilize one of our core products , Flour tortillas to make My Nana’s “Best Tasting“Bunuelos & Bunuelo chips.Fortunately, sales have exceeded our expectations. We are planning for significant growth into the future.La Canasta Foodservice segment has had consistent steady growth with our core group of product offerings ie. Corn and Flour Tortillas, Chips, and Salsa. . In May 2020we proudly introduced My Nana’s Thick & Crunchy Tortilla Chips… Great for Nachos . Made from a blend of Whole Kernel Stone ground White & Yellow Corn.
La Canasta is still family owned and operated by the second generation of the Abril family. Sisters Josie Ippolito, President, and Linda Rios, Vice President, assist in the day to day operations. Our community involvement includes a monthly standing order of 3,000 packages of Tortillas for St Mary’s Foodbank, We are the Title sponsor of the Arizona Hemophilia Association “Salsa Challenge” event since 2007, March of Dimes since 2008, and annual donation of 1% from sales of My Nana’s “Best Tasting” Products to The Alzheimer’s Association.As always, we continue to focus our attention in providing old fashioned customer service and authentic product quality which has made La Canasta who we are today. We still make our tortillas from the Original recipes since 1962 and will continue to specialize in supplying the food service industry with our authentic, bakery fresh tortillas and the retail market with My Nana’s™ “Best Tasting” Uncooked Tortillas, Tortilla Chips, Bakery Fresh Corn & Flour Tortillas, Buñuelo’s, Salsa Fresca & Hot Sauce products.La Canasta is extremely proud of these accomplishments and will continue to strive to always be better than expected.Our company motto is and always will be
“Large enough to meet your needs, Small enough to care”