INDIO — The much-beloved, go-to staple of authentic Mexican food is the family-owned Arriola Tortilleria on Wilson Avenue. While in October 2015, the city of Indio recognized the multi-generational business during National Hispanic Heritage Month, never has the eatery been honored beyond the city limits — until now.

Arriola'sDemocratic Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia will recognize Arriola’s Tortilleria as the 56th Assembly District’s 2018 Small Business of the Year on Saturday, July 20. The award is recognition of the restaurant’s support of the community and steadfast commitment to customer service and high business ethics, according to Garcia’s Resolution.

Arriola Tortilleria Named Small Business of 2018

Eduardo Garcia

“Small businesses area critical to the economic well-being of the state of California aby creating new business and employment opportunities and by bringing unique and innovative services and products to the marketplace,” Garcia said in his Resolution.

The statewide recognition caught family members off guard – as did media attention.

“I think it’s great,” Daniel Hernandez told Uken Report. “I think it’s amazing and pretty awesome.

Arriola’s Tortilleria, home to the popular tamale boat, is a family-owned business that was established by Ray Arriola’s parents, immigrants from Durango, Mexico, who began making and selling tortillas in 1927 out of their home. Arriola’s Tortilleria has continued to expand and evolve throughout the years providing authentic and delicious tortillas and other Mexican delicacies. Today, the business includes a tortilla factory that was built in 1965 on land adjacent to the original site.

Daniel Hernandez is Ray Arriola’s grandson.

“This all started out of my great grandfather’s kitchen,” he said. “He would make tortillas at the house and people would stop by to get them. We’ve kept this in the family for so many years and have kept this in the family. This is about our legacy.”

Ray Arriola is a Coachella Valley High School graduate. He served in the Korean War with the U.S. Air Force. After completing his service he returned to California and began delivering tortillas for the family business in 1959.

“We’re really happy and excited to share our story,” said Becky Hernandez, Ray’s daughter. “We are happy to be part of the community and to serve our community.”

Garcia also lauded Arriola for being an “outstanding corporate citizen” who helped to meet the needs of the community through its support of myriad organizations and events.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. today, July 21. On hand for the event will be Ray Arriola and his family, Garcia and The Greater Coachella Chamber of Commerce with a formal Resolution from the California State Legislature celebrating the longstanding success of his business within the community.

Arriola’s Tortilleria is located at 82721 Wilson Ave. in Indio.