In Mexico, food is the great unifier. It breathes life into the busy streets and brings warmth to the family home, where generations gather to share stories and laughter over steaming plates of Mole and Chiles Rellenos. After moving to Australia, Mexican-born Jefte longed for the flavour and spirit of Mexico’s vibrant cuisine. Eventually the love for Joey, his Australian wife, outweighed his passion for Tacos al Pastor, and together they settled in the idyllic village of Burringbar in Northern NSW to raise a family of their own.
Still determined to find a tortilla that ‘tasted like a tortilla’ they began making their own from scratch, reimagining the flavours of Jefte’s childhood from Australia’s first solar-powered tortilleria, their take on the traditional neighbourhood shops turning out fresh tortillas into the palms of hungry Mexicans. Quickly realising they weren’t the only ones who craved a taste of Jefte’s homeland, they imported a tortilla oven and sourced specialty ingredients from Mexico to craft their authentic totopos (corn chips) and tortillas.
The name came naturally, Doña Cholita, a tribute to Jefte’s beloved Grandmother, who shared the couple’s passion for wholesome food and home cooking. While their products are now sold and served in over 350 stores, cafes and restaurants around Australia, they are still made in the same small-batch way, with 100% natural and organic ingredients — nutritious nixtamalized maize flour, filtered water and Himalayan salt — that’s it! Doña Cholita totopos and tortillas also form the offering at Mercado Juarez Mexican takeaway, a place for friends and families to gather and feast.
“At Doña Cholita, we have recreated the time-honoured recipes of our heritage so that Australians can discover the heart and soul of Mexican culture and cuisine. With the help of our authentic totopos and tortillas, we hope they are inspired to create their own traditions at home.”
— Jefte & Joey Juarez, Doña Cholita founders
Our Vision & Mission
At Doña Cholita we believe that our vision and mission act as a north star, they embody the culture of our company and remind us where we are headed.
Our vision is to bring heart & soul to Mexican food in Australia.
Our Mission is to be the authority on Mexican food in Australia – to do this we give insight into the history & culture of Mexico, We craft authentic Mexican corn tortillas & corn chips this enables Aussies to truly experience real Mexican food.
Our Values are who we choose to be everyday – how we show up and what we believe are fundamentals to being the best we can be.
#1 – Live with integrity. Be proud of who we are, what we do, and our impact on the world. This means being proud of what we achieve, how we do it and the people we are along the journey. We are conscious consumers, we strive to reduce the impact our actions have on the environment. This is a global world we live in, let’s look after it!
We show up as ourselves everyday, we embrace diversity, we’re compassionate and humble, and we come from the heart. We tell the truth and accept the truth. We strive to be excellent in everything we do, to not give into mediocrity, we take personal responsibility and make shit happen. We value ideas over hierarchy. We live with passion and we celebrate life!
#2 – We love to bring people together through our love of Mexican food & share that experience with the world. Good food has a strong essence, it embodies the heart and soul of a country, ‘through food we can find our home.’ – Christina Martinez.
Good food makes us smile and brings the truest feelings of contentment and joy to our hearts, there’s something almost magical about it. In Mexico, food is so ingrained in the culture it has become a way for people to connect & express their passion & love for life. Meal time is when our families come together to share stories & laughter, & to make memories we treasure forever. We love food, it’s in our blood and we thought it would be cool to be able to share that passion and hang out with other people who love good food, especially Mexican food.
#3 – Enjoy life. Be Playful. Life is an amazing gift, let’s make the most of it and have fun while we’re doing it. We want our work environment to be fun, engaging & rewarding, we spend ⅓ of our life at work & we believe work can be a contributor to happiness. We don’t believe in waiting for the weekend to live. We stay playful and positive, we believe in being light hearted and enjoying life..
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT
Did you know that our Tortilleria is operated by sixteen solar panels on the roof and Enova Energy (our local renewable company)?
Reducing our carbon footprint is important to us at Doña Cholita. Using solar helps us to keep our business processes sustainable. As the sun doesn’t shine all the time here in the Northern Rivers, we joined with Enova Energy to provide the extra power we need to operate our tortilleria.
We also participate in The GreenPower Program, which is a government initiative that enables Australian households and businesses to displace their electricity usage with certified renewable energy, which is added to the grid on their behalf.