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Tortillas on the Move

Pflugerville scoops up longtime East Austin tortilla chip maker

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bags of El Lago tortilla chips on store shelves
El Lago Mexican Foods will be moving operations from East Austin to Pflugerville. Photo courtesy of El Lago Mexican Foods/Facebook
Bags of tortillas from El Lago on store shelves
El Lago has produced tortillas and tortilla chips for restaurants and stores in Austin for over 60 years. Photo courtesy of El Lago Mexican Foods/Facebook
line of delivery trucks for El Lago Mexican Foods
El Lago says that Pflugerville offers better access for distribution than East Austin. Photo courtesy of El Lago Mexican Foods/Facebook
bags of El Lago tortilla chips on store shelves
Bags of tortillas from El Lago on store shelves
line of delivery trucks for El Lago Mexican Foods

With so many companies vying for a piece of Austin real estate, it's strange when one decides to move out of town. But for one local tortilla factory, that's exactly what's happening.

El Lago Mexican Foods Inc. will be relocating from the current location on 1700 East Fourth Street to a new 24,000-square-foot space in Pflugerville on the corner of SH 130 and Pecan Street. The company has called the East Austin location home for nearly 50 years, but the Austin suburb is providing more economic and location incentives to Texas’ largest distributor of tortillas and chips.

The announcement came from the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, and it appears that there were several reasons that Pflugerville was chosen by El Lago, but location played a key factor.

According to the PCDC, owners felt that the current East Austin location was being encroached on by residential developments. El Lago is just down the street from Plaza Saltillo, a major tract of city-owned land tagged for development in the near future.

East Austin also apparently provides a less-than-ideal location for optimal distribution of El Lago's products. As anyone stuck in I-35 traffic will tell you, it is far less convenient than being located right along SH 130.

On top of that, the Pflugerville City Council approved a $60,000 economic incentive on Tuesday, provided that El Lago brings a minimum of 40 jobs to the greener pastures of Pflugerville.

While Austin will be sad to see an established company move to the suburbs, there’s at least the consolation that El Lago’s tostada chips and tortillas will still be available in restaurants and grocery stores throughout the city.

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