Grand Rapids-based Meijer today announced an expanded partnership with Hacienda Mexican Foods in which Meijer will sell the Detroit-based manufacturer’s tortilla products in its more than 200 stores across the Midwest. In turn, Hacienda Foods will expand its operation and double its workforce.
“Meijer is committed to supporting Michigan businesses because it’s what our customers want and deserve,” says Peter Whitsett, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing for Meijer. “But the impact of this partnership with Hacienda Mexican Foods means so much more. It has created a ripple effect that has encouraged business growth and created jobs in the city of Detroit.”
Meijer began carrying Hacienda’s corn and flour tortillas in 50 of its stores in Michigan beginning in 2014. The retailer will now carry Hacienda’s handmade tortilla chips — salted, unsalted, and chili lime — along with corn and flour tortillas in its stores across the Midwest.
Lydia Gutierrez, owner of Hacienda Mexican Foods, says the opportunity allows her to double the business she started in the early 1990s by hiring an additional 40 individuals who live in the Mexicantown neighborhood where her business is located.
“The jobs we are giving to the community are for people who are hard workers, but maybe they do not have all the education,” Gutierrez says. “We’ve been able to change lives, change a community.”
Gutierrez says she’s added a second shift at her manufacturing plant in southwest Detroit to fulfill the retailer’s orders. The tortillas and tortilla chips are handmade daily, and distributed to Meijer stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.