This is our story.

It’s a story about passion, traditions, full stomachs & al pastor tacos.

It’s about a Mexican muchacho and an Aussie chica, whose passion for real Mexican food led them to pioneer an authentic traditional tortilleria & street eatery in Australia.

But we’ll get to that soon. First a snappy history lesson, because our story is rooted in thousands of years of culinary history…

It all began more than 2000 years ago, waaay back in….

The birth of tortillas

One day on the banks of a river in central America, a great discovery is made: the secret to unlocking the natural nutritional goodness stored inside of corn. Early Mesoamericans figure out that by steeping their corn overnight in water, rich in limestone from local rivers, the fibrous outer shells soften, and the grains are able to be stoneground into a pliable dough and formed into delicious tortillas. This transformation is called ‘nixtamalization’, and it is the key to releasing the B vitamins bound within the corn. Our beloved tortillas are born!

~1200BC to 600BC

The fuel of great civilsations

Over the next few centuries, these tortillas become the staple of the peoples of Mesoamerica. Fuelled by this nutrition, the region gives rise to the great pre-Hispanic civilisations of the Aztecs, Mayans, Olmecs, and many more. Tortilla-making is an essential part of daily life, right up until the 1950s that is, when this ancient culinary craft comes under threat…

600BC to 1519AD

¡No manches guey! Nutrition and flavour give way to convenience

As global companies look for cheaper ways to produce food en-masse, the quality of Mexico’s humble tortilla declines. A heavily-processed ‘just-add-water’ tortilla flour is invented that bypasses the traditional nixtamal process, and typically contains preservatives, additives and GMO corn. These industrial-age tortillas flood the market and largely displace traditionally-made tortillas in all but the small villages of Mexico. The difference between the short-cut tortillas and the real nixtamal ones? It’s kind of like instant coffee versus coffee made with freshly-ground coffee beans. ¡Nixtamal por favor!


Enter Gerardo, el niñito

As a small niño growing up in Mexico City, learning to cook traditional Mexican dishes from his mum and Grandma, Gerardo Lopez knew good tortillas. And he knew the best ones were the nixtamal ones found in the villages of Mexico. He dreamt to one day travel abroad and open his own restaurant, sharing the delicious dishes and traditional tortillas of his homeland with the world.


Hola Australia!

Fast forward 3 decades. Gerardo has grown from niño to adulto (…or maybe that’s still a work in progress 🤔). He’s climbed Everest (literally, and yes, to the top), and has taken the 15,000km journey across the seas to migrate to Australia. Although enthralled by the culture and culinary scene of his new home, there was something missing, something that no Mexican can live without… quality authentic tortillas.

As much as Australia had advanced in its offerings of authentic Mexican food, processed tortillas were the only ones widely available at that time, meaning that truly authentic taste was always beyond reach.


Two passionate foodies meet

One day, Gerardo meets Diana.  Diana – a fellow foodie who had discovered the magic of real Mexican food while studying for her anthropology degree in Mexico City – was also longing for a good plate of tacos. You know, the kind you get back in Mexico: fresh spiced marinated pork, sliced thinly off the trompo and flipped onto a fragrant warm corn tortilla and drizzled with delicious homemade salsa roja and freshly chopped ….um where were we again?…ah yess…


An idea is born!

A common craving had brought our two characters together in a new mission: to give Australians the long-overdue authentic Mexican food it deserves. Starting with the most essential part: corn tortillas made the traditional way from scratch, just like they’re made in the villages of Mexico.


The La Tortilleria Dream Comes to Life

So, after Diana’s several trips back to Mexico to learn the authentic process by visiting and working in tortillerias across the country, ‘La Tortilleria’ was born, producing fresh nixtamal corn tortillas from our restaurant in the backstreets of Kensington, Victoria.

March 2013

¡Felicidades! ¡Más GRANDE!

And the word spreads. Mexicans and food-enthusiasts from near and far begin coming to try our real corn tortillas and eat authentic Mexican street food at our restaurant. Top chefs from across the country put our tortillas on their menus, and our products fill more and more grocery stores nation-wide. Our trophy cabinet fills up after winning several national food awards. There’s a line out the door of our restaurant, and we’ve had to open a new dedicated tortilla-making site in Melbourne’s outer west to keep up with demand!

2013 to 2019

You find yourself reading to the end of a long but inspiring story, and now you’re hungry for a plate of al pastor tacos, made with real corn tortillas. You go to La Tortilleria’s where to buy page. Your Mexican cooking goes next level, your tacos are deliciosos, your amigos are impressed, your family’s bellies are filled with joy, and you never look back. The secret to really good bien chido Mexican is revealed to you, ¡Que padre!

Our Familia of Tortilla Makers

Gerardo Lopez Co-Founder

A passionate adventurer & proud Chilango, Gerardo is originally from Mexico City. After moving to Australia in 2009 he became frustrated with the less-than-ideal offerings of 'Mexican' cuisine available back then. He saw an opportunity to follow his culinary dream & share authentic Mexican with his new home.

Read more

Diana Hull Co-Founder

Diana is passionate about healthy eating, sustainable food systems & preserving indigenous methods of food preparation. While studying abroad in Mexico she fell in love with the craft of nixtamal tortilla-making & is now on a mission to keep this culinary tradition alive & teach the world about it.

Jessica Roso Chief Everything Officer

Jess is a foodie from way back & has enjoyed working in the industry for around 20 years. Sharing a love of small business & great Mexican, Jess joined the La Tortilleria team in 2016. Her experience in sales, marketing & management is helping us get our message out to the world, one tortilla at a time!

Gab Salaris El Jefe de la Fabrica

Gab has 20+ years working for the big wigs of the Australian Food Industry, however he decided to throw it all in & make dreams come true for the little guys instead. Growing up in an Italian immigrant family, Gab has a serious passion for good food, made from scratch with real ingredients.

Isaac Nava Chief Tortilla Maker

Isaac is a fourth-generation nixtamal tortilla maker from the central-north of Mexico. He has been making tortillas for as long as he can remember & now ensures every tortilla that emerges from the La Tortilleria oven is a tribute to those back home in Mexico.

Asha Ellis Sales Guru

Asha's love for artisan products makes her the perfect match to our tortillas! She has an abundance of experience in hospitality & artisan food. She's a great home-cook striking a perfect balance between delicious & nutritious ~ of course with a Mexican influence!

Luis Gerente de la Taqueria

Luis joined us as soon as he arrived in Australia & instantly became part of our familia. He helped run his family taqueria in Mexico for 6 years & brings joy & laughter to our team… Along with an incredible singing voice!

Iliana Patrona de la Cocina

Iliana has been with us since day 1 & we wouldn’t have it any other way! She is a talented chef who loves creating authentic Mexican dishes & is proud to share a piece of Mexico in Melbourne.