Recognized as a pioneer in the refrigerated tortilla business, Azteca Foods, Inc. started in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago as a vision of Art Velasquez and nine other Mexican American businessmen and members of the Azteca Lions Club. With a passion for quality Mexican food and a dream to positively contribute to the economic development of their community, Velasquez and his business partners each invested $8,000 in 1969 to found the Azteca Corn Products Corporation. At a time when Mexican food was not mainstream, the founding members built the company on a strong desire to bring traditional Mexican foods to a wider group of consumers outside their own neighborhood.
With the sale of Azteca Corn Products Corporation as a wholly owned subsidiary to The Pillsbury Company in 1984, the Azteca® brand grew tremendously due to a broad-based product line, application of new technology and investment in advanced production facilities.
In 1989, Velasquez and his wife Joanne bought back the assets of the business from The Pillsbury Company and changed the name to Azteca Foods, Inc.
Today Azteca® has grown to become a multimillion-dollar business still family-owned by the Velasquez family. Located on the southwest side of Chicago, Azteca® operates in a 100,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which employs over 135 people.
Azteca® prides itself in developing the first refrigerated tortilla using fewer preservatives to bring extended shelf life to its category, while maintaining strict quality control to ensure only the freshest and highest-quality products available. The company continues to revolutionize the industry and grow its product line with the addition of bake-and-fill salad shells, tortilla chips and new Azteca™ Meal Essentials.
Although Azteca Foods, Inc. has grown to serve national and international markets, the Velasquez family remains committed to Chicago and the Latino community through participation on more than 20 not-for-profit boards.