La Tapatia of Fresno looks forward to 'Food Expo'

FRESNO, Calif.

The expo is an opportunity for local companies to showcase their products, as well as network.

The owner of La Tapatia in central Fresno is looking forward to picking up new ideas and sharing business techniques that have helped the company grow, even in tough times.

24-hours a day the sounds of tortilla and corn-chip making can be heard coming out of the "La Tapatia" plant in central Fresno.

Justin Rushing said, "It's pretty cool to see every step along the way; the measurement and the precision you have to take to make a good product."

At La Tapatia, they have it down to a science. The family owned company has been perfecting its craft since 1969, and they're proud of the quality of their product.

Helen Chavez-Hansen said, "No One, and I can honestly say that, makes a finer yellow corn tortilla than La Tapatia."

Helen Chavez-Hansen, president and general manager has been fascinated with the production of tortillas since she first laid eyes on a old tortilla oven. She bought that oven, and 40 years later -- Chavez-Hansen runs a $30 million a year operation with 175 employees. They sell tortillas and tortilla products under 100 different brand names, all over the world.

Chavez-Hansen said, "We ship our product into South America, we also have product in Dubai, Egypt, Israel -- we have product all over."

According to Chavez-Hansen, La Tapatia services about 90% of the valley's restaurants, and holds about 70% of the snack food market in South Korea. She says good promotion has been key in expanding her company.

Chavez-Hansen said, "That's why the expo is so great. It's that networking opportunity, you get to see what other people do -- you learn from them."

One thing she's learned through the years is to diversify and change with the times. Under their second company-brand "Sol De Oro" ... they now make healthier options like organic, low-carb and multi grain products.

Chavez-Hansen said, "We're all getting smarter, we're all getting wiser, we're all reading the labels, we're all looking to see what can we do better for ourselves -- so I look at that, and I have new concepts coming out."

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