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La Primera Tortilla Factory, 102 Palomas Place in Sunland Park, will receive assistance from the New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) that will allow it to double in size and add more than a dozen employees, EDD said in an April news release.
La Primera is the “premiere source of authentic Mexican tortillas,” according to www.laprimeratortilla.com.
Founded by Jose and Aurora Favela in 1984 in Sunland Park, La Primera relies on a family recipe “passed down through many generations,” the website said.
The family business started by selling fresh tortillas wrapped in paper and stored in a container to stay warm for customers, La Primera secretary-treasurer Juan Carlos Favela said in the news release. It still sells that product, but also produces in quantity for regional retail stores, including Walmart and Lowe’s grocery stores in the El Paso and Doña Ana County area.
“A lot of people call us from all over the United States,” Favela said. “We ship tostadas, we ship tortillas. We’ve always tried to keep it as fresh as can be. But we have never had enough space to do everything we want. Now with the state partnership we can expand in New Mexico, grow, hire new workers and have financial stability.”
EDD’s assistance “will help the company grow manufacturing at its existing facility, “essentially doubling its space to sell to schools, hospitals, jails and other institutional customers, the news release said.
The company has qualified for a $50,000 Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) job-creation grant for the expansion. La Primera plans to invest $2.7 million in equipment and add 14 employees over the next three years.
This is the third LEDA project in 2021, along with Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm and Bueno Foods, to boost local food capacity and create jobs in value-added agriculture and food processing, EDD said.
The City of Sunland Park is the fiscal agent for the La Primera project.
“La Primera Tortilla Factory is a testament of successful partnerships that prove that Sunland Park is the place to be," Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea said. "The city looks forward to their expansion and is committed to connecting even more local business to resources that help them grow.”