UNION GAP, Wash. -- It's no surprise to find some good tamales made around here. But you might be surprised to know that one hot tamale spot built a name for itself around the world. Los Hernandez Tamales has been in business for 22 years and you can't buy just one.
Just off Main Street in Union Gap sits a small tamale shop with a big following.
Los Hernandez Tamales has been here for 22 years. Some have been eating them since day one.
"They are the same as my grandmother's taste, the same. They're the best," said customer Randy Garcia.
He's not the only one who thinks that. The tamales have been featured in magazines, newspapers and on travel shows. It wasn't always a success. Owner Felipe Hernandez didn't make a dime for years.
"I did make some sales, but just enough get by," said Felipe Hernandez, owner of Los Hernandez Tamales.
He even had to borrow money. Slowly but surely, things came together.
These days, the phone rings off the hook. Customers place orders from across the country and around the world. And they don't order just one.
Cashier Audrie Martinez says she's taken orders for more than 300 tamales. The biggest order rang up to more than $3,000.
To this day, no tamale is made without Felipe's watchful eye. Hernandez still works seven days a week, 14 hours a day.
He works hard to make sure his authentic tamales can be enjoyed down the street or overseas. As a veteran, his only regret is that servicemen can't enjoy them at war.
Perhaps it's that passion that makes his tamales taste so good.
Los Hernandez began selling its most popular tamale last weekend. It's the Asparagus Pepper Jack Cheese Tamale.
You can only buy it three months out of the year. The owners sold 35,000 tamales last year and hope to double that this year.