A Fast-Growing East L.A. Tortilla Business Started With Two High School Friends

Omar Ahmed, 33, co-owner of Kernel of Truth tortilla company, counts yellow corn tortillas at their facility in Boyle Heights. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Omar Ahmed, 33, co-owner of Kernel of Truth tortilla company, counts yellow corn tortillas at their facility in Boyle Heights. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Chances are you’ve had supermarket corn tortillas, the thick, bland, chalky discs that Rick Ortega calls “hot dog tortillas.”

Ortega, along with business partner Omar Ahmed, runs Kernel of Truth, a Los Angeles company that makes tortillas almost unrecognizable in taste from those mass-retail bulk versions.

The two are pushing back against a tortilla-making process that became industrialized in the 20th century, particularly through the domination of Maseca, a producer of dehydrated tortilla flour . . .

Read more by Sarah Portnoy at L.A. Times