The name of Adriana Ramirez’s Mexican food business, Adriana’s The Whole Enchilada, is not just a signal to potential costumers that they can expect to find a wide breadth of products. It is also a promise of Ramirez’s personal commitment to the quality of those offerings.
“I’m all in, whatever happens,” she said of her Central Saanich operation, which she co-founded with Wayne Adams.
The only large-scale manufacturer of corn tortillas on Vancouver Island, The Whole Enchilada supplies some 25 stores and restaurants across the region with Mexican food products of various kinds.
They include among others Root Cellar, Peppers, The Market Stores, Keating Co-op, Dan’s Farm, Mother Nature Cook St., Red Barn Markets, Whole Foods, Deep Cove Market, Sun Trio Farm, Niche and Cafe Fantastico Bar and Deli. The business also does catering, and its popular deli on Keating Cross Road draws customers well before the doors open Wednesdays to Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A resident of Canada for 35 years, Ramirez co-founded the business more than 20 years ago, during which time it has become an important node in the local food and agri-industry.
While the majority of key products, such as chicken, are secured outside the Saanich Peninsula, the business tries to deal as much as possible with local businesses, including local suppliers Sun Trio Farm, Dan’s Farm and Michell’s Farm, she said.
“It’s very important for us work with farms as well,” she said, adding that doing so helps to create a virtuous circle.
These local connections have become increasingly important over time and reflect Ramirez’s commitment to the Saanich Peninsula.
She knows the potential challenges that could come from building her business around her name.
“(There) is always risk in this particular business, because we are dealing with food,” she said. “But I love cooking and I love what I do.”
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