once upon a time...

There was a beautiful Latin Goddess Queen named Martha Castillo (Castillo literally means Castle in Spanish). She was a mama, a chef, a dreamer, a  perfectionist, an overachiever. She worked alongside her husband Joe Pimienta for years a owning several catering companies and restaurants. They always received good reviews but were never quite as successful as she had hoped for. One day she realized that her real passion in life wasn't so much the entirety ofMexican cuisine, but it was actually one specific dish that stole her heart... Tamales!  She decided  that her  passion for the art of tamale making was too intense  and decided to focus all of her time and energy on creating the best. For  5 years she worked on perfecting the recipe, driving everyone crazy in the process. Finally in 2008, after years of practically sleeping in the kitchen, the perfect tamale was born and The Tamale Store opened. Some called The Tamale Store an overnight success, they were after all named “Best Tamales in Phoenix” 1 year after opening their doors in 2008. Martha was ecstatic for her tamale's new found fame and knew that this overnight success took 30 years of preparation.

Today, you can find her and Joe working alongside one another (best friends and happily divorced) with their three daughters and son doing what they do best. Perfecting the art of tamale making while simultaneously attempting to take over the tamale market universe. It’s a tough job, but they welcome the challenge. After all, who doesn't love a happily ever after?  



Martha Castillo

Born in Mexico City, Martha knows authentic Mexican cuisine. From a very young age, Martha’s creative spirit gravitated towards the kitchen. Her passion for cooking grew deeply when she moved to the United States and realized that there was a real hunger for authentic healthy Mexican food. From that moment on, she set out to revolutionize the Mexican food industry. She has been working on that tiny little goal ever since. 

Interests:  Cooking, meditating, running, yoga, her kids, Mel Gibson, chips and salsa, reading, her crazy grandchildren, telenovelas, being awesome.



Joe Pimienta

Born in Mexico City and moved to the United States with Martha with hopes of being his own boss. Like many immigrants who move to the US, he wanted a better life for him and his family and had dreams of owning his own business. His hard working habits combined with Martha’s extraordinary culinary skills allowed for his dreams to become a reality. Today, you can find him at a farmer’s market doing what he does best, working hard and loving life. 

Interests:  Road trips, traveling the world, music, his kids and grandkids, the ladies, trucks,  racquetball, history, Discovery Channel, working, telenovelas, making people laugh. 


Pauline Pimienta

Was on her way to an Ivy League Law School when she realized that her passion in life was two things: her family and business. Luckily, she found out in time and is now working alongside her family to pursue her family’s goal of total tamale domination. 

Interests:  Marketing, music, playing hide and go seek with her daughter, big trucks, anything with chocolate, coffee, high heels,  reading, politics, debating, beer, debating about politics while drunk, Anderson Cooper, Mexican candy, being sarcastic, being awesome. 


Maria Stanzak

Just like her parents, Maria always had a passion for business. It was no surprise when straight out of college she opted to take over the accounting and marketing for The Tamale Store. Today, you can find her running the financial show at the store. 

Interests:  Her kids and sexy firefighter husband, strength training, music, yoga, healthy stuff, being a diva, thinking she's a psychic medium, crystals, and new age-y stuff.


Caroline Pimienta

Just like her older sisters, Caroline came into the business with a real zest for success. Her spunky personality, amazing sales abilities, and magnetic personality have proven to be a real asset to the company. Today, you can find her at most of the farmer’s markets around the valley. She’s easy to spot, she’ll be the loudest one there. 

Interests:  Her crazy children, tattoos, Romanian guys, sales, music, movies, tattoos, being loud, badminton, being the center of attention,  did we mention tattoos?

Eddy Pimienta

(Not pictured because he's so handsome he doesn't want to make his family jealous with all of the attention he will receive)

Growing up with 3 older sisters wasn't easy. He'll probably say it made him the kind, light-hearted teddy bear he is today. Even though he's currently attending Northern Arizona University, Eddy has plans on always being a part of the family's business. That's good news for the family, since he's the smartest one!

Interests: Reading, lifting weights, memes, psychology, college chicks, working at farmer's markets, breakfast burritos, his nephews and nieces, his mommy.

Copyright 2013 The Tamale Store LLC.  All Rights Reserved 

Photography by: Stanzak Photography