‘Tis the Season for Tamales



The Valley family behind The Tamale Store


For many families, tamales are a traditional holiday dish. The holidays are about family and food, and for the Pimienta family, it’s an everyday thing. Martha Castillo and Joe Pimienta grew up in Mexico and were successful in the restaurant industry, but wanted to fulfill their American dream. The couple came to America and continued working in restaurants and in catering.Their cooking quickly grew in popularity. “They saw that everyone was really excited about their tamales, and that just became a popular thing,” said Maria Pimienta-Stanzak, one of their four children who helps run The Tamale Shop. Each member of the family plays a vital role in The Tamale Store. “It’s really fun working with our family everyday. We get to see each other on a daily basis. We collaborate our ideas and we grow together as a family,” added Pimienta-Stanzak. Her parents are now divorced, but remain best friends and business partners. The Tamale Shop is one of the most buzzed about places to get tamales in Arizona. Eddy Pimienta, the youngest of his siblings takes pride in their accolades, including the coveted Best of Phoenix title multiple times. “I’ve got to say we’ve got the biggest tamales, we put the most meat in them, our masa is the best and I feel that everybody can testify to that,” said Pimienta. Although the family and fellow workers make 3,000 tamales a day, the last day to place holidays orders is Friday, December 1. After that, it’s first come first come through Christmas Eve. They are thankful for their customers and take pride in each tamale they serve. “I think our passion shows to our customers, to our buyers…they can see how much we love our business and how much time and love and passion we invest in each tamale,” said Pimienta-Stanzak. 


The Pimeienta family plans to open a restaurant in 2018 that will be located near Greenway Parkway and Cave Creek Road. 

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