The Tamale Company opened a new retail outlet, The Bodega, on July 13 in Duncanville. The Bodega owners are Elizabeth Plimmer-Fernandez; her father, Richard Plimmer; and her husband, Israel Fernandez. The Bodega has three staff members, and the owners said they are planning to hire more. The Bodega is located in The Tamale Company’s former catering space.
Elizabeth says, “We have had this catering space for a year, but on July 13 we transformed our office and tasting room into a retail store front. We have been pushing tamales since 2008 with retail stores, online, catering, and fundraisers. We’re at farmers markets in McKinney, Coppell, and Rockwall, and have been supplying caterers and restaurants.”
“We have all been in the food business for a long time,” Elizabeth said. “This is just an organic extension for our company. If it wasn’t for our world’s current climate, then I would have never seen the need for the Bodega and the impact of it on the city of Duncanville.”
The Tamale Company Owners
Richard Plimmer and his wife started Chicago Hot Dog carts in the 1980s. They opened Chamber Street Café, a restaurant in Cleburne. Plimmer has also managed other restaurants and worked in event planning the past few decades.
Elizabeth said, “I started catering in high school, then I went to culinary school at El Centro College. One of my first jobs was at Vera Cruz Cafe in Cedar Hill, where I met my husband. Israel has been in the food industry since his second day in America. He was rolling silverware at Tejanos Restaurant in Oak Cliff at 15 years old. He worked for Vera Cruz Cafe as well as Tillman’s Road House in Bishop Arts District for years.”
“I grew up in Duncanville,” Elizabeth said, “and my parents still live in Duncanville. We have a distribution warehouse in the industrial area of Duncanville, and we were looking for a new catering kitchen. I saw that this wing shop was out of business and I thought it was the perfect size for a catering kitchen/ tasting room for our brides and grooms. I know that restaurants don’t always do great in Duncanville, but I saw the potential for this space to be a catering kitchen. Little did I know that this would be a retail shop a year later. Duncanville offers pretty affordable retail spaces, but what I didn’t realize was how desperate folks around here are for more fresh food.”
The Tamale Company’s website says they “make their high quality tamales from scratch, using a traditional approach that preserves authenticity and guarantees quality while providing our customers a healthy convenient product that will satisfy the most discriminating palate.”
At the Bodega, the Tamale Company’s five best-selling types of tamales are offered on a daily basis. The Ancho Chili Pork Tamale ($19.95 a dozen) is their top seller. Others are Beef Tenderloin Tamale ($19.95); Chicken Tomatillo ($19.95), Black Bean and Corn (vegan, $19.95); and Cheese and Jalepeno Tamale (vegetarian $19.95).
Other items for sale at the Bodega include three types of salsa (red, green and Habanero). They also offer a variety of Mexican food items such as enchiladas and guacamole for take-out.
Their recipes come from a variety of sources, Elizabeth said. “It’s really a mix of a few things. Several recipes are from Israel’s Mom, Mica. She also comes once a week to make our mole, as well as some of her other Veracruzana recipes. Israel’s family is from Vera Cruz.”
“We also sit down at the table once a week and go through cookbooks, and talk about things we saw online. We pull ideas from places we have traveled, and we love to ask our customers what they want. We offer a wide variety of options of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian items. We always have dessert tamales like Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate. We will offer holiday take home packages to help our customers host events,” she said.
“Most of all, we love to see our customers’ faces light up when we say, ‘Yeah! We can make that for ya!,” Elizabeth said.
The Bodega is located at 626 S. Cedar Ridge in Duncanville. For information, call 469-868-643.