If you love great Mexican food, chances are that you’ve eaten Doña Cholita tacos in some of our best restaurants without even knowing.
They’re our most authentic Mexican tortillas, made from 100% natural ingredients including certified organic non-GMO masa harina (maize flour) and water, made in the Byron Bay Hinterland by a Mexican immigrant who wanted to replicate the flavours of his homeland.
Like many tales, Doña Cholita began as a love story, or should I say several love stories, namely the love of a grandmother, a mother, her son and his wife.
Doña Cholita Tortilleria was founded in 2015 by husband and wife duo, Australian-born Joey and her Mexican husband Jefte Juarez who, after returning to Australia were unable to find a tortilla that ‘tasted like a tortilla’. The pair began baking their own tortillas from scratch so that they could replicate the traditional Mexican experience at home. They soon realised that there was a market for their product, so they decided to turn their passion into a business.
Their company is named after Jefte’s grandmother, Doña Cholita, whose recipes were handed down to his mother and then to Jefte. She inspired the whole family to love wholesome food and Mexican cooking.
“There was great competition between everyone’s version of a dish,” Jefte tells us, laughing, “but no one could beat Doña Cholita’s. She was the best cook.”
They imported a traditional tortilla oven from Mexico, sourced suppliers for organic ingredients and started producing mouth-watering Mexican tortillas that they could share with Australia.
A year into the business, they expanded their range to include totopos (corn chips) from the tortilla wastage. No longer leftovers, now those chips are hand cut from tortillas. They come in three varieties, white corn, blue corn and chipotle, now forming 70% of Doña Cholita’s business turnover, the rest comprised of blue and white corn tortillas.
Dedicated to environmental sustainability, the factory is solar powered, the products are cooked at 160 degrees in clean, filtered rice bran oil, tortillas vacuum sealed and chilled to maintain pristine conditions.
What’s extra-special about Doña Cholita’s products, is the process of nixtamalization. Dating back to Aztec culture around 1200–1500 BCE, corn is dried, soaked in an alkaline solution, ground down and dehydrated to make flour in a process which activates its nutrients, making it more easily digestible for humans. You certainly won’t get this with regular commercial corn chips!
“Our business is a tribute to our Mexican heritage and to our family who have shaped us to become who we are today. We are excited to share our recipes with you on our website and help you to enjoy a taste of genuine Mexican culture through our food.”
As Joey and Jefte will tell you, life is too short to eat bad Mexican!
NOTE: You’ll eat Doña Cholita’s products at restaurants such as Frida Sol, Bonita Bonita, Goodness Gracias and The Collective on the Gold Coast, and at many other high-end Mexican restaurants in Byron Bay. Products can be ordered online or from stockists noted on the website.
Doña Cholita Tortilleria, 33 Broadway, Burringbar NSW 2483 Ph: 02 6677 0221 or 0451 028 323