Luna’s Tortillas grew from the humblest of beginnings to become considered as one of the most successful Hispanic owned and operated businesses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area today.
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|Luna's Tortillas History & Origins|
Luna’s Tortillas grew from the humblest of beginnings to become what is considered to be one of the most successful Hispanic owned and operated businesses in the Dallas, Fort Worth area today. Much of this family based businesses' success can be attributed to the drive, spirit, and ingenuity of one woman, its founder, María Luna. It was her vision and strong work ethic that carried her and her family through hardship to achieve a better life, while still keeping a firm hold on her values and beliefs.
Señora Luna immigrated to the United States from San Luis Potosí, Mexico in 1923.
At the young age of twenty three, this recently widowed mother of two set out to make a better life for her and her family. In the beginning, she took a job at local grocery store on N. Griffin St. just to make ends meet. As fate would have it while she was working there María came upon an opportunity to purchase a used corn grinder that had been returned to the store. Little did she know at the time that her decision would change the course of her family’s lives for generations to come.
Initially she began grinding corn for the Mexican people who lived in her area, but this was just the beginning of bigger ideas to come. In February of 1924 she started what would become Luna’s Tortilla Factory at 2209 Caroline St. The location is now a Dallas Landmark but back then it contained the hopes and dreams of a young family. With absolutely no knowledge of how to make tortillas Maria wisely hired and learned the process from other Hispanic women in her community. At years end she had employed as many as 25 women to make over 500 tortillas a day. Over the next several years as business continued to grow the little tortilla factory would have to expand. Ever the hands-on type, Señora Luna helped plan and design the new facility located at 1615 McKinney Ave which would be the home of Luna’s Tortillas until August of 2007.
FRANCISCO "Pancho" X. LUNA
Mr. Luna grew up in and with the factory. When he graduated from Crozier Tech High School in 1937, he wanted to go to college, but he stayed to help his mother with the business. He took a six-month course in basic business at a Dallas business college.
In 1939, Ms. Luna gave control of the operation to her son, who was 19 years old and just married.
The family was so tightly knit that for many years Mr. Luna and his wife, Alejandra, lived in an apartment over the tortilla factory, as did his mother. When he bought a home on Denton Drive in 1949, it took him two years to tell his mother that he and his wife were going to move.
All of Mr. Luna's children worked at the tortilla factory, and two are still with the company.
He was a very ethical businessman expecting nothing but perfection from himself, his workers and his children. He was very customer-oriented. It was serious business. No matter what we were doing, we had to take care of the customer first. He showed us the way to conduct ourselves and treat people. He was fair, he was hard, he was loving. It's all about tradition, values and family.
Pancho’s business success enabled him to pursue humanitarian causes.
Pancho was a charter member of the Dallas Central Lions Club and held several positions with the organization, serving as charter president and later as governor of the club's local district 2X-1.
Working with the Lions Club and the Texas Eye Bank between 1970 and 1974, Mr. Luna took organs to Mexico City for corneal transplants that allowed 80 people to regain their vision. He was instrumental in getting repealed a Mexican law that prohibited transplantation of tissue from cadavers to the living.
Mr. Luna was inducted into the Texas Lions Hall of Fame in 2000.
He never retired from his business and worked until just a few days before his death.
He was devoted to his job and his business. He had a 'never quit, never say no' attitude.
Luna's Tortillas Today
Fast-forward 87 years and five generations later and business is still growing. It is obvious that times have definitely changed and now it is up to current family ownership to make the tough decisions while keeping in step with the family heritage.
Unfortunately with ever increasing pressure from outside sources, inflated cost of real-estate and the need to expand once again, it was with a heavy heart the decision had to be made to move to a bigger facility. Luna’s Tortilla Factory now resides at the corner of Harry Hines and Regal Row.
Although the address has changed and there are more items on the menu, the tradition and spirit of the Luna family remains the same. Yes, Luna’s has come a long way from the small operation that once produced 500 handmade tortillas daily. Present day the little tortilla factory now cranks out over 1500 tortillas per hour supplying over 200 restaurants and cafeterias in the DFW area with their daily needs while also shipping across the U.S. Now famous for their wonderful tamales and other fine food products the family business is bigger than ever.
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Driving Directions & Hours
Luna's Tortillas, Inc
8524 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, TX 75235
(214) 747-2661 - Main
(214) 747-5862 - Fax
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