The Mex-Sales Story

After the death of her mother, homemaker Sandra Vasquez wanted to carry on the family tradition of making tamales during the Christmas holiday. Knowing that the traditional art of making tamales required an entire day of preparation and cooking, Vasquez was looking for a way to make the process easier and faster yet still involving the family in this affair which has become a south Texas Christmas tradition.

Vasquez came up with an idea to invent a utensil that would spread the masa onto the corn husk. “Besides waiting to eat them, spreading the masa takes the longest depending on how many you make and, of course, we always want to make a lot,” Sandra says with a laugh.

So in 1990, Vasquez developed a tool which went through many transformations. Finally in 1993, she settled on a product and sent it off to obtain a patent. Since there was no other tool like this one, she received a patent for the Mas Tamales Masa Spreader in August of 1995 (Patent #5,437,076).

Now, Sandra spends her time selling the spreader while also attending trade shows to market her product.

“I'm training people to make the product successful,” she says. ”With the spreader, we're going to have people making tamales who wouldn't have helped with making tamales before.”

The spreader is made out of plastic and can be used like an iron. It has made a name for itself as being a fast way to spread masa for tamales.

Anna Wood, a Corpus Christi resident, said she and her family find the spreader a can't-do-without kitchen item because it has cut the time in half when making tamales:

“Using the masa spreader is really great.” Wood finds. “Let's say for about 10 pounds if masa, it would take two hours. But, with the masa spreader, all it needs is one good spread.” Her 10 year old son is also learning how to make tamales with the spreader. “Before, I used a regular spoon . . . now I guess the masa spreader will be the traditional spoon,” Wood suggests. “The spreader also relieves a lot of pressure off of your hand.”

The Mas Tamales Masa Spreader is available in retail outlets across the Southwest, or you can purchase a spreader directly from Mex-Sales.


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