A Day at Pedro's Tamales
It's a good day when you get to enjoy a fresh tamale from Pedro's Tamales. It's a really good day when you get to talk with the owner himself about the amazing company Pedro's has become over the years.
We sat down with owner Mark Hale to discuss one of the most popular tamale businesses in the United States, started from the ground up right here in Lubbock.
What began as an idea at the dinner table grew from hand-delivering homemade tamales to kitchens across Lubbock to one of the most successful businesses in the nation. Today, Pedro's Tamales makes around 7,000 dozen tamales a day. Last year, the company sold more than 15 million tamales. Hale credits the success to the ingenuity and drive his father embraced and instilled in the family when the company started in 1977.
So how does an auto parts business owner become a renowned tamale maker? It all stemmed from a simple idea. Hale describes the day his dad, Pete "Pedro" Hale, ate a tamale (one of his favorite comfort foods) and decided the family was going into the business.
What makes Pedro's Tamales unique? Pete Hale pioneered the manufactured tamale, and decided he wanted something in the menu that is a strong commodity in Texas: beef and corn. Traditionally, tamales are made with pork. Pedro's beef tamales have quickly become a favorite among locals and customers around the country.
During the beginning years of Pedro's, the Hale family would wake up before 5 a.m. every morning to sell their specialty tamales. Mark remembers learning from his father the art of being a great salesman, "If you have a quality product, it will sell itself." Boy, was he right! Over the years, Pedro's Tamales have seen big numbers and big success:
- For five years, Pedro's Tamale's was the No. 1 food-selling item in the Nieman Marcus Christmas Catalog.
- Pedro's Tamales are sold in more than 600 Walmarts and various grocery store chains in Texas and across the country.
- Pedro's Tamales have been featured on the QVC network twice, selling $35,000 worth of tamales in just 15 minutes.
Those are just a few of the amazing feats this company has achieved during its 37 years in business. For Mark, the business and the tamales are about making memories with family, which is what he cherishes most about his father. One of their favorite memories together was hunting.
After listening to the inspiring story about the company, we got the opportunity to take a quick tour around the facilities. If you've ever wondered where and how your favorite tamales are made, check out these photos: