Beloved for its variety of stone-ground corn tortillas, Yoli Tortilleria has become a fixture in metro grocery stores as well as at the Overland Park Farmers Market, where owner Marissa Gencarelli can usually be found talking with customers and offering up fresh tamales and warm tortillas straight off the griddle.
Now, just over two years after opening their business, the Gencarellis (Marissa’s husband, Mark, is her partner in the business) have signed a lease for the first-floor space at 1688 Jefferson Street in the Westside, the former home of Swoon Bakery. In this new home they plan to open a small neighborhood tortilleria, focused on Sonoran-style tortillas, which are new to Yoli’s lineup. The shop will also feature Yoli’s original corn tortillas (which will still be made at Yoli’s original and certified gluten-free facility) and tamales, in addition to other local products.
Made by steeping non-GMO, organic corn kernels for hours to make masa, Yoli uses no chemical additives or salt to make its tortillas.
The Gencarellis aim to make their new store an inviting, neighborhood fixture, similar to those that Marissa grew up with in Mexico. “The first thing you’ll see is people making tortillas [for customers] to snack on while you shop,” she says. Customers will be encouraged to watch the tortilla-making process, and there will be a few seats available at a small bar that will look into the kitchen area.
Sonoran-style flour tortillas are traditionally made with a mixture of flour, water, salt and pork lard. This style of tortilla, which is thinner than flour tortillas, is praised for its chewiness, flavor and the ability to stand up to whatever contents you place in them without falling apart. At Yoli’s new location, the Gencarellis plan to offer the traditional Sonoran tortillas made with lard from the celebrated Paradise Locker Meats in Trimble, Missouri, as well as whole wheat and vegan options, which will utilize a vegetable fat.
The Gencarellis are hoping for a December or January opening for the new shop, and are researching which other products they will be offering in the space. In the meantime, Yoli’s corn tortillas are available in stores all over the metro area, and customers are always welcome to come meet with Marissa at the Overland Park Farmers Market to taste tortillas fresh off the griddle.
Yoli Tortilleria, 1668 Jefferson St. #100, Westside, Kansas City, Missouri, eatyoli.com