One of the best kept secrets in Humboldt County is the true story of the origins of Bien Padre-not only the business, but the name itself. We have to admit that we have often been amused by some of the rumors surrounding the name in particular. We even thought about keeping the mystery alive, but in the spirit of modern food manufacturing, we know that you have a vested interest in how and where your food is produced.
Bien Padre Foods was born in 1974, when two young entrepreneurs brought tortillas back from a Southern California vacation, and introduced them to their friends and families.
(Tortillas had been making their way North of the border, and West from Texas, but were by no means a household staple in the early ‘70s.)
With an unmatched exuberance for tortillas, they decided to bring tortilla manufacturing to Humboldt County. They jumped in their 1950s F1 Ford truck and headed south in search of a tortilla oven. They hauled a very used $100.00 oven home, and with the help of their wives and close friends, they started a tiny tortilla factory in
The name “Bien Padre” was chosen by a friend of the family who wished to honor her father. It was a good idea, too, because when Bien Padre’s business took off, and they needed to raise capital for a new shop, her father bought 1/3 of Bien Padre for her as a wedding gift! The new partnership enabled the three of them to purchase and remodel an old bread factory on Sixth and C Streets in Eureka, CA in the late 1970s.
Business was humming from Los Angeles to Seattle when the little tortilla factory was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1984. Thankfully, no one was injured in the midnight blaze, and the cause of the fire was never determined.
The outpouring of public support and encouragement inspired the trio to rebuild the factory in it’s current location on Railroad Avenue in Eureka, CA.
In 1989, they were ready to retire, and sold Bien Padre to the Lim family who updated the business name to Bien Padre Foods. The Lim family has owned and operated Bien Padre Foods for over 20 years.