While traveling in Mexico, Grace Newland visited a local’s home in Chiapas, where she ate a homemade corn tortilla that was unlike any she’d tasted in the United States. It was made using a traditional cooking method where dry corn is cooked in lime and ground into masa. After she got home, she decided that she wanted to start a business that would bring these tortillas – and the flour ones that she tasted later in Oaxaca – to the United States.
Newland began making tortillas in her own kitchen and selling them at farmer’s markets; later, she expanded into a wholesale business. Mitla Tortilleria provides tortillas made with organic, non-GMO ingredients to restaurants, caterers, food trucks, and stores.
Newland makes corn tortillas using the traditional method that she learned in Mexico, called nixtamalization. She also makes flour-based tortillas that contain 5 ingredients.
Newland says, “I have expanded my wholesale business and increased income after confirming my pricing strategy with Michael and gaining more confidence in sales outreach. He motivated me to move forward on hiring my first employee to expand my output and I have just completed my first sales forecast at Michael’s urging.”
Newland advises other small business owners to research their industry, including the size of the target market, growth, trends, and especially the costs of producing one’s product, including freight and packaging. A SCORE mentor, she says, can offer an unbiased perspective on which parts of your business needs improvement.