Hidden In Plain Sight: Tasty Tortillas & Chips - The Ann Arbor Area's Own Tortilla Factory

Nov 13, 2017

The Ann Arbor area is often noted for academia and art, football, and food, but did you know it’s also home to a tortilla factory?

Two containers of freshly made chips at the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory.
Credit Lisa Barry

As part of our “Hidden In Plain Sight” series, 89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry takes you to Pittsfield Township just outside of Ann Arbor where tasty tortillas and chips are made from one simple ingredient.

Watch video shot at the factory:

It’s a busy part of town with lots of commerce and traffic, but just off Ellsworth Road, there is an industrial park and behind the doors of one of several factory-type connected businesses is the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory.

Up to 100 cases of tortilla chips are made there each day and sold at stores in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

Tortillas being made at the factory.
Credit Lisa Barry

Guadalupe Quetglas is the owner and came to the United States from El Salvador when she was a teenager to go to college.

Balls of dough ready to be pressed into tortillas and fried into chips.
Credit Lisa Barry

She walks Lisa through the 8,000 square foot factory past bags of corn, which will be steeped in calcium hydroxide for about 15 hours, washed and ground into big balls of dough, then put through a machine and made into tortillas.

An employee cuts tortillas into chips for frying.
Credit Lisa Barry

She first started the business with several siblings but bought them all out and runs it now on her own.  She says it’s not always easy being a woman business owner.

The factory's owner, Guadalupe Quetglas.
Credit Lisa Barry

She has purchased more equipment for the Pittsfield Township tortilla factory near Ann Arbor and hopes to double production soon…. right there in the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory.  Hidden in plain sight.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu