“Anytime between 4 am and noon.” is when Evie’s Tamales is available to meet for this interview. Hungry police officers, construction workers, late shift workers or anyone awake at that time are able to find delicious homemade Mexican cuisine in the heart of Mexicantown. This is how the restaurant has ran for 38 years. The team at Evie’s consist of three generations of the Grimaldo’s family. Sisters Diana and Irene took over when their mother passed away as well as their niece, Mikelyn.
Evie’s have perfected a direct marketing strategy by bringing their product to audiences outside of Southwest Detroit. Mikelyn is at a different farmers market every day of the week. On Saturday, Evie’s capitalizes on the large weekend crowds at Eastern Market and shares authentic Southwest Detroit cuisine with those who have yet to experience it or keep coming back for more. Mikelyn stated, “Most of the people down there aren’t from Detroit…some of them have never had a tamale before.”
Being one of the only vendors from Southwest Detroit, Evie’s takes on the role of ambassador to Mexicantown by sharing flavors and experiences with those that stop at their booth. “I have a little picture of the restaurant at my table, I tell them to come by the next week and most of them do!” The restaurant has seen an increase in business and take note of those customers who visit the flagship location on Bagley Avenue for breakfast before heading to the market. The captivating sights and smells of Evie’s Tamales entices customers to check out the booth as well. “I will have thirty to forty people a day come to the booth because they saw other people walking around the market eating the tamales.”
The efforts of the Grimaldo family is a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit in Southwest Detroit. The team at Evie’s strives to make the best food possible and share with as many people as possible! Stop by Evie’s Tamales during your next trip to Eastern Market and receive a warm tamale and even more welcoming and warmer customer service!