Vida Tortilla is a new, exciting collaboration between Vida Cantina, Dos Amigos Burritos and Tuckaway Farm. Our aim is to produce artisan tortillas made in New Hampshire from New Hampshire grown corn for the people of the greater Seacoast. Our high-quality tortillas will be made from Tuckaway Farm's organic, heirloom flint corn using local expertise and labor in a way that strengthens the bond between the food grower, the food producer and the food consumer.
David Vargas, owner and chef at Vida Cantina, directs this project. Dave has been producing tortillas by hand since taking over the restaurant in 2015. Vida Tortilla will take Dave's talent to the next level. With the purchase of a custom-made tortilla machine from California we will be able to make enough tortillas to supply Vida Cantina and her sister restaurant Dos Amigos Burritos. We also plan to sell the tortillas at local farmers' markets and specialty stores.
Dave has long dedicated himself to the culinary arts and to the culture of Mexican cuisine, a huge part of this culture is corn. We are thrilled to have this collaboration with Tuckaway Farm that grows this heirloom, organic flint corn that produces amazing tortillas. We have spent countless hours perfecting our product and we are very excited to be able to offer a house-made tortillas to the local area.
This is Dave's first business venture, so he is being aided by friend and partner Joel Harris. Joel opened the first Dos Amigos when he was 23, and over the last 14 years has opened 5 more locations and was instrumental in the opening of Vida Cantina. Joel has learned by doing and will focus his knowledge to make the tortilla business sustainable.
Food tastes better when there is a story behind it. The story of Vida Tortilla starts at Tuckaway Farm in Lee, NH. There they organically grow an heirloom flint corn that is indigenous to New Hampshire. The farm is passionate about their corn and that passion will be carried through to the tortilla making process. Using an ancient Mayan way of cooking called nixtamalization, we will boil the corn with calcium to help break down the kernels but keep their nutritional value. We then rinse the corn and hand mill it into masa. Currently Vida Cantina hand presses 8,000 tortillas a month. The new company will produce enough to supply Vida Cantina, all Dos Amigos locations, local farmers' markets and anyone who wants to enjoy these delish artisan tortillas at home - some 26,000 a month.
The demand created by our customer's reaction to fresh tortillas has encouraged this venture. We want more people to experience the difference a house-made tortilla adds to Mexican cuisine. We have done the research and experienced the best tortillas and tortilla companies in the country to ensure our process and product will be the very best. Campbell Machines in Los Angeles custom makes every tortilla machine they sell. Vida Tortilla's machine will cost $45,000.
We are seeking base funding to secure a business loan to order the machine and sign a lease for kitchen space in Dover, NH. The tortilla machine takes 3 months to build and deliver. If we secure funding by January 2018, we plan to start production in April 2018, just in time for the farmers' market season. We will be serving the tortillas in Vida Cantina and the four Dos Amigos locations within two weeks of the machine set up. Tortillas will also be available for purchase in packages of 10 at all the restaurants and local farmers' markets.
Risks and challenges
As young entrepreneurs our funds are limited and the purchase price for the custom tortilla machine is high. We seek your help to make this delicious, sustainable project a reality.
Our start-up costs are $75,000, including the tortilla machine ($45,000) and walk-in Refrigerator ($8,000). We also need funds to renovate our kitchen space ($12,300). Our goal is to raise $11,500 in addition to the personal funds we have already committed. We need your help to make Vida Tortilla a reality.
It is a big ask, but we have the experience, the knowledge and the personal commitment to see this local venture succeed.
Please join us.
- (49 days)