If the Mazatlan Post is accurate when it calls tamales like Christmas cookies in Mexico and the Southwest, the Caprice Gouveia is pretty much Mrs. Claus to Ahwatukee.
Instead of a sleigh, however, Gouveia and her tool around the area in a food truck for their all-mobile business, Tukee’s Tamales.
And as the holidays bear down on the community, Gouveia, her husband and son and daughter are ready for the onslaught of orders for tamales – and a whole bunch of other Mexican dishes – with a word of advice.
Order her tamales early – and, hopefully, often.
This is the fifth holiday season for Tukee’s Tamales – which Gouveia started in her kitchen, serving up take-out orders of Mexican cuisine she made herself, based on old-Mexico recipes she inherited from her grandmother.
Now she has a truck, said administrative assistant Solaya Allen, business is, well, hot as some tamales.
“The business has been doing amazing,” Allen said. “Every year that passes we see tremendous growth. Not only has the amount of tamales we are able to fulfill for the Ahwatukee area grown tremendously but so has the catering aspect.”
While Tukee’s Tamales is focused this time of year on tamales, it also has a full-time mobile catering service – ensuring patrons who’ve come to appreciate Gouveia’s other Mexican dishes won’t have to wait until tamale time has expired.
Indeed, she can now cater to private and corporate parties for as many as 650 people.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it if it weren’t for our loyal Ahwatukee followers,” she said.
All tamales must be ordered in advance and salsa is provided at time of pickup.
People are encouraged to order at forms.gle/nU73Bgaxoh7yUpSv9 and follow the prompts there. Or they can leave a voice mail message at 602-359-0573. You can also follow Tukee’s Tamales on Facebook to see where they’re traveling.
“We encourage everyone to follow us on Facebook and track us on our website to see when we are around Ahwatukee and where we will be,” said Allen,
And if you’re planning to leave some tamales for Santa’s visit to your home, be advised the deadline is Dec. 21 for Dec. 23 pickup.
“I’ve spent the 30 years in the kitchen,” Gouveia said. “My goal is for people to feel my passion of cooking through my dishes. I love sharing my Hispanic heritage with the community. I want them to feel like they’re in a small village in Mexico when they’re eating our food.”