AUSTIN (KXAN) — Is there trouble this tamale season? Not quite. But there may be a greater demand with fewer hands on deck to get them made.

Delicious Tamales, a San Antonio family-run business, is working double time to make sure they keep a season tradition alive. It has a location in Austin, too.

Tucked inside a small San Antonio shop, tamales are patted, rolled and packed to perfection at Delicious Tamales.

  • workers prepare tamales
  • tamales in a row
  • wrapped tamales
  • stacks of tamales
  • tamale wrappers
  • workers prepare tamales
  • storefront for delicious tamales

Delicious Tamales ships some of its holiday favorites here to its Austin location.

“Come on and let me show you,” said Araceli Gonzalez, manager of the east Austin location.

The tamales are stored in the freezer raw, then cooked on-site there. “These are my chicken tamales,” Gonzalez described, “my jalapeño chicken…”

We wish you could smell what we did when interviewing Gonazalez. The tamales aroma wrapped itself around any and everything throughout the building.

“It smells so good in here,” Gonzalez said with a proud chuckle.

The Delicious Tamales location in Austin has only been there for about a year, but as we interviewed Gonzalez, the phones wouldn’t stop ringing.  

However, there is a Grinch lurking. Its name is inflation. 

“Inflation is definitely driven up the cost of a lot of our raw product,” said Herlinda Lopez-Wood, co-owner of Delicious Tamales. “Things we use in our production — corn, corn husk foil — you name it, it’s gone up.”

It’s made the holidays more stressful, she said. So, Delicious Tamales has had to shop around for different vendors and slightly raise prices by a couple of bucks. 

Staffing is also a problem.

“During the pandemic, you know, they [employees] couldn’t work, but nobody came back,” said Valerie Gonzalez, co-owner of Delicious Tamales.

But when there’s a will, there’s always a way — even if it means 12-15 hour days for her, Lopez-Wood said.

“The tradition continues,” Lopez-Wood said. “It’s a labor of love.”