Thirty-four years ago, in Anaheim, California, Miguel González Sr. and his wife, Teresa Reynoso de González, opened their first Northgate González Market, specializing in Hispanic foods. For the Gonzálezes, who had emigrated from Mexico, the business was all about giving their customers foods that reminded them of home and that were harder to find in the United States. They grew, market by market, expanding their offerings, until today the family (many of whom run or work at the stores) has 33 Northgate markets around southern California.
Among the Northgate specialties loved by both chefs and home cooks are the in-house tortillerias, where the tortillas (flour, corn, blue corn, or nopal [cactus]) are handmade with the Gonzálezes’ own stone-ground nixtamal masa, and are sold fresh or packaged. Said a reviewer from OC Weekly, the tortilla “heats up fast, but not too quickly, allowing for an even cooking process that allows you to control just how many char spots you want to bubble up or how crispy you want it to become. Conversely, you can heat it up enough so that it’s perfectly pliable but not so much that it starts to crack. And the taste is clean—a strong masa flavor, but one that doesn’t overwhelm your palate. They’re uniformly, consistently delicious.”
In thanks for their success and to give back to the community that has supported them for decades, the family established the González Reynoso Family Foundation, to help fund fellow community organizations.