La Sonorense Tortilla Bakery in south Phoenix produces up to a million corn and flour tortillas a week for restaurants and resorts across Arizona. Take a peek inside the place where the magic happens
Photography by Mark Lipczynski
As any good chef will tell you, the key to a perfect taco is the base: the tortilla. In a south Phoenix bakery, we got a peek into what it takes to make one right. Jose Hernandez and his father — a native of Jalisco, Mexico — have been toiling away in flour dust for decades, “with four to five ladies making tortillas here by hand when we started in 1984,” he says.
Now the operation at La Sonorense Tortilla Factory cranks out up to a million corn and flour tortillas a week. Each one is pressed, moved through the oven and cooled on a conveyor belt in two minutes flat. Hernandez sells to some of the best resorts and restaurants around Arizona, and when he plucks one off the stack the moment it comes out of the fire, it’s easy to see why.
“It boils down to ingredients and love,” he says, showing off the goods, a pillow of flour, water, shortening and canola oil that tastes like hot heaven.