BILLINGS – When you think of Billings, fresh and authentic tortillas may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but for the last 15 years the Trevino family has been working to change that.
The company grew from humble beginnings, starting with the same recipe Chris Trevino learned when he was 5 years old in his grandmother’s kitchen.
“He learned from his grandma,” said Destynee Trevino, Chris’ wife and business partner. “He spent a lot of summers with her in Bridger.”
In 2003, Chris took his recipe to the State Avenue IGA, rolling out 32 packages of tortillas by hand to be sold over the weekend. They were all gone by Sunday.
Countless hours of work and millions of tortillas later, and Trevino’s Tortillas can be found in grocery stores and restaurants around the region. They are distributed across the state of Montana, east to the Dakotas, and as far west as Spokane, Wash.
But being a trailblazer hasn’t always been easy. With no other businesses in the state quite like them, equipment and maintenance can be a challenge.
“Our equipment we got out of Texas and some out of California,” said Trevino. “As far as finding somebody to work on the equipment, nobody around here has the knowledge because they’ve never been around it so we fly in our mechanic from Phoenix whenever we have a breakdown.”
Despite some of the difficulties, providing a homemade product, and for some a taste of home, is all the reward the Trevino’s need.
“Being at the Farmers Market, people walk by and they’ll yell out, ‘Those are the best tortillas ever,'” said Trevino. “People say I moved here from California or from Texas and these are just like my grandma used to make and I never thought I could find them here in Montana. It makes you want to keep going.”
The tortillas are made fresh, which means they have a shorter shelf life than their national brand counterparts. Trevino’s makes a variety of different flavors as well, including salsa and pesto.
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Reporting by Samantha Harrelson for MTN News