Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go
Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go

This project involves a tamale bike and a shipping department. 


We love the opportunity Kickstarter offers to include the whole country in this project. Very often, tamales are thought of only during the year-end holidays. We believe they are too good for that. In Santa Barbara, we say anytime is tamale time! There are lots of excellent tamale makers (and happy eaters) across the country who surely agree with us. Since this is a family project, let me start by introducing ourselves to you.

Our Family and Tamales

In 1869, William Henry Lambert arrived from New York to build a homestead just south of Santa Barbara. He probably ate his first tamale soon after that. I am the great, great, great, great granddaughter of William Henry, and I think he'd love the tamales we are making now.

From those days to this, Santa Barbara has been a big part of our family's life, and we're all huge tamale fans. Beach parties, potlucks, Fiesta celebrations, anytime we get together there's the fragrance of freshly-made tamales in the air.

The Business Opens

During my great aunt's 90th birthday party in 2012, family members joked that it was time our home city had a tamale named after it. We voted and that's how Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go was born. My grandfather, Richard Lambert, became the company owner and he oversees the daily operations.

We have attracted a loyal and growing group of customers, mostly by word of mouth. Our tamales are now enjoyed at many of the wine tastings, food festivals, and Fiesta celebrations throughout the Santa Barbara area. Our philosophy is simple. We use fresh, sustainable foods from our local farmers to create tamales with great flavors for our customers to enjoy. 

Our commercial kitchen is open seven days a week. Customers place orders by phone and the tamales are made to order, then delivered hot from our steamers. This system helps us provide truly fresh tamales.

Fun to Eat

Every tamale we make is seventy percent filling, so they are always plump and moist. We use just enough masa to hold all that filling inside and make them fun to eat. We also wrap our tamales in clean parchment paper and tie the ends with colored ribbons, so you'll know which flavor you are unwrapping.

Mexico's Tamale Queen 

Our tamales combine family recipes along with traditional techniques my grandfather learned from Beatriz Ramirez, Mexico's celebrated "Tamale Queen." He traveled to her tamaleria in Mexico City where she taught him her ways of creating authentic tamales. He blended her methods with his own to develop our distinctive new look tamales.

Kickstarting Our Mission

We are seeking $13,900 to help us kickstart our project. This will fund our new tamale bike and also create a shipping department to reach tamale fans all across the country. The tamale bike, located near the beach and downtown shopping area, will help us bring tamales to local pedestrians and visitors alike. The shipping department will give us a chance to share Santa Barbara tamales with folks throughout the country.

We already have the commercial kitchen, equipment and supplies, food permits and licensing. We are also purchasing a new mobile ordering system and smart phone for the bike, along with bike storage facilities. Kickstarter funding will enable us to bring all these together and serve more tamales to more tamale fans.

Creating Opportunities

I am in my final year at school. As our business grows, I'm proud that we'll be able to give other students the opportunity I've had to develop culinary skills and gain firsthand business experience. This includes partnering with Santa Barbara City College on a student internship program. We are also registered with Santa Barbara County's Workforce Resource Center to provide employment apprenticeships for young people seeking a culinary career.  After we reach our Kickstarter goal, we will also expand our commitments to these organizations we support...

Casa Dolores, Elings Park, Julia Child Foundation, Lobero Theatre, SB Chamber of Commerce,  SB City Parks Department, SB County Food Bank, SB Foundation, SB Museum of Natural History, SB Rescue Mission, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Villa Majella, Westmont College.

300 Tamales

Our tamale bike is designed to hold as many as 300 tamales. There is also a refrigerated section so we can offer cold drinks and keep our salsa containers cool. Icicle Tricycle (Portland, Oregon) is helping us design the bike to meet our local health code requirements. 

Be the First... 

When our new shipping department is ready, we'll be able to deliver tamales anywhere in the country. Be the first in your neighborhood to bite into a Santa Barbara Tamale! 

Project Timetable

October 1, 2015     Kickstarter campaign ends

October 15             Shipping department opens

November 1            Shipping rewards completed (tracking info to be provided)

December 15          Kickstarter tamale bike party 



Our popular chipotle salsa recipe will be emailed to each of our backers as soon as you submit your pledge (along with a huge "Thank You!")

Pledge of $1 or more

You will receive a $5 gift certificate by email which you may use toward your next tamale order.

Pledge of $15 or more

The Kindle version of Chef Lambert's cookbook, "Preheat to 350 Degrees."

Pledge of $25 or more

A ticket to our Kickstarter tamale bike party, where we will serve as many tamales as you can eat along with fresh salsa.

Pledge of $40 or more

Just the tamales, ma'am. No tee-shirts, bumper stickers or mugs. Six tamales delivered locally or shipped anywhere in the United States. This makes a great gift certificate!

Pledge of $75 or more

12 tamales delivered locally or shipped anywhere in the United States. This makes an even better gift certificate!

Pledge of $125 or more

Two dozen tamales delivered locally or shipped anywhere in the United States. 

Pledge of $225 or more

Four dozen tamales delivered locally or shipped anywhere in the United States.

Pledge of $500 or more                                                                                        

(Retail Value: $750) This special reward is a private tamale bike party anywhere you choose in the Santa Barbara area. We will provide and serve 100 tamales plus salsa for you and your guests.

Please Join us

We receive your pledge with genuine appreciation. If you aren't prepared to contribute financially, please join us anyway. Introducing this project on your Facebook page, or tweeting the link to this page is a big help. 

Risks and Challenges

There are risks to our backers and challenges for us only if this project is funded, so let's say we are successful.

The reward tiers focus on offering our tamales in return for pledges. We make tamales daily in our kitchen, so we will have the challenge of increasing our volume to accommodate the Kickstarter pledges in addition to our regular ongoing sales. We do have room in our current facility to expand our operation, so our primary need will be to hire and train new employees. 

The risk to our pledged backers whose tamales will be shipped rests with the completion of our shipping department. In my grandfather's previous 30-year career,  he managed an international shipping department for his firm, The Idea Bank. His experience and first-hand knowledge will help us get our shipping department up and operational quickly.

The biggest risk and challenge in the food business is making it through the first year. We are in our third year now, and with the help of Kickstarters like you, this one promises to be truly special.









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