The Tamale Kitchen started with the simple goal of providing employment for women in the Northeast Kansas City community. The concept is nourishing not only for our customers but also for the women in our kitchen who are developing important business skills.
Every tamale you buy from The Tamale Kitchen helps grow the business and raise up the women, their families and the local community.
It all started several years ago in a church office in Northeast Kansas City. A priest became frustrated that his hard-working, predominantly Hispanic congregation couldn’t find jobs that paid a living wage. He knew something had to change to break this cycle of poverty. Soon after, under the direction of our founder Becky Gripp, The Tamale Kitchen was born.
Today a team of women turn their love for a cultural tradition into great-tasting tamales that generate revenue, create jobs and provide new opportunities for the next generation.
In late 2021, The Tamale Kitchen was presented with an amazing opportunity of a new investor – James Uhlmann – who is changing so many possibilities into so many realities.
Founder Becky Gripp has worked with many well known corporations and non profit organizations. In addition to overseeing The Tamale Kitchen, Ms. Gripp sits on the Board of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Northeast Chamber of Commerce and is the Les dames d’Escoffier International Kansas City Chapter Director at Large.
James Uhlmann is the founder and chief executive officer of Paradigm Food Group. A third-generation Kansas Citian, James received a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in public policy from the University of Kansas. Upon graduation, he worked for a startup logistics company called ShipX, which rebranded as FreightorGator and merged with a local third-party logistics company. James was employed with the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation from 2017-2021. His passion for entrepreneurship came from his family. After being a customer of the Tamale Kitchen for many years, he couldn’t wait to get involved to grow the business.
Paula, Kansas City
Hugh Mills, Kansas City