WYOMING, Mich. — Hundreds of families showed up to Tamales Mary Wednesday to buy a sack of tamales as part of their annual Thanksgiving sale.
Dozens of people lined up around the restaurant on Burton before they opened at 11:00am, each looking to buy up to 2 dozen tamales.
“My whole family loves them and they look forward to them every year,” said Tina DeWitt, who was the first person in line Wednesday morning.
“Last year, I think I had to work a half day, so I was later, and so they were out of 1 of the flavors I wanted, and this year I didn’t have to work.”
She wasn't alone. Tamales, made of Masa dough and steamed in the traditional corn husk, are quickly becoming a holiday season favorite for many in West Michigan.
"I was out actually doing some errands, and I’m like you know what, that's at 11:00 today," said Chris Kaminsky, who was also one of the first in line Wednesday.
"Last year I missed out because they sold out by the time I got here, and I was like, shoot it just worked out this year.”
In 2019 the restaurant sold 3,500 tamales. This year they prepared 4,000 of them.
“Making tamales is a large process, so we work almost 24 hours for this," said owner Mary Delaluz-Martinez.
It took 10 people working 24 hours over a 5 day period this year to make all of the tamales needed.
“We have people who come every year from Muskegon, from Holland, from Lansing. Yeah, just for the special,” Delaluz-Martinez told FOX 17.
She says that COVID did add some additional challenges this year, with only 6 customers allowed inside at a time. But, she says, it is always a wonderful experience seeing so many people show up to buy her tamales for their families.
"Everyone can enjoy this Thanksgiving day with their family and with tamales,” she said.
And next year, we may just see a line around their new location in Eastown. The new shop will be located at 1551 Wealthy St SE, and is set to open in the first few months of 2021.
Tamales Mary is typically open Monday through Saturday from 11:00am until 9:00pm, and from 10:00am until 6:00pm on Sundays. They will be closed on Thanksgiving day, but will be back to normal hours this Friday.