DALLAS — The history that is ingrained in the walls of Luna’s Tortillas in northwest Dallas is one of family, endurance and lots of corn.
Fernando Luna is the latest family member to take on the role of owner, stretching the family-owned operation to five generations.
“Our responsibility is to keep it going," he said.
The Luna family name is one of Hispanic royalty in the DFW Metroplex, being one of the most recognizable tortilla factory makers for the last 97 years.
In that time, Luna recalls his family enduring plenty of trials and tribulations.
“The Depresion, World War II, Korean War, all kinds of war, Vietnam," Luna said.
However, COVID-19 and the ongoing global pandemic nearly pushed them to the brink of shutting down.
Luna showed us around his northwest Dallas establishment, which is his family’s tortilla factory and was their latest restaurant, Luna’s Tortillas y Hacienda.
“People would be dancing and enjoying it, and I’m just sad it had to come to an end,” Luna said as he walked us through the empty restaurant floor and patio space.
Luna had to make the difficult choice to close the family restaurant down in October 2021 to stop the financial bleeding.
This is giving them the chance to solely focus on their tortilla factory, selling tortillas and tamales to dozens of their clients and community members.
“You’re talking about 7,000 pounds of corn every day,” Luna said.
Over the decades, the family has owned and operated several restaurants in the Dallas area, but now their short staff is focused on serving loyal customers like John Cuellar, another notable Dallas figure, who is a part of the famous Cuellar family that founded El Chico and Cantina Laredo restaurants in Dallas.
“They have become a legend, not just in Dallas and not just in North Texas, but all of Texas,” Cuellar said. “They’re a very well-respected family and business, going back many decades, and there’s not too many families that can stake that claim.”
Thousands of North Texas businesses have closed their doors since the pandemic first started. Luna understands his family is not alone in that hardship, but he’s determined to keep their legacy alive.
“The factory is going to continue. Regardless, if I’ve got to buy a cart and sell tamales on the side of the road, it will continue somehow,” Luna said.