The Tamale Lady had to shut down her business in June, but the Mission misses its Vagabond Abuelita! Virginia Ramos, who just turned 60, is ready to go legit with her own brick-and-mortar Tamaleria.
Virginia Ramos is better known to the people of San Francisco as the beloved Tamale Lady.
In early 90s Virginia realized that her day job as a domestic worker cleaning houses was not earning enough money to send her 7 children to college.
Virginia learned to make Tamales from her Grandmother when she was growing up in Mexico – so to make extra money she began cooking tamales in her kitchen after her house cleaning work was done. During the evening she would fill an insulated cooler with her delicious tamales and travel from bar to bar selling a hot home cooked meals to hungry folks all over San Francisco.
Virginia is often referred to as an angel, a saint, or our Lady of the Tamales not just because she seems to miraculously appear when nightlife patrons need something to eat the most – but because she is known for her hugs, a shoulder to cry on, and her role as a surrogate grandmother to the people of the Mission – in fact she often wears a t-shirt that says “I don’t know you but I love you”.
Big Changes Ahead:
After meeting with Supervisor Campos and other City departments and with pro bono help from Barbary Coast Consulting, Virginia has decided that it’s time to take her business to the next level!
The Tamale Lady is proud to announce that she will be opening up a brick and mortar “Tamale Lady” restaurant in The Mission.
And she needs our help!
How We Can Help!
Because Virginia has been saving money for the last 20 years she will be able to pay for the majority of the Tamale store. Supervisor Campos is helping her find a vacant store front but she will need $50,000 to help build out a commercial kitchen in her new restaurant.
If everyone in San Francisco who has eaten one of Virginia’s tamales donates what they are able we will help Virginia’s dream come true!
The Tamale Lady and her crew appreciate all the individuals who supported her campaign before perks were added. To show our thanks, the first 350 donors will automatically qualify for recognition on the "People Who Made This Possible" wall in Virginia's Tamaleria (a $250 perk)--regardless of the amount donated.
Additionally, anyone who donated before the perks were added retroactively qualify!
Please enjoy the documentary below, Our Lady of Tamale, created by Cecil B. Feeder.