We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandy Wall and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sandy, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in San Bernardino, CA. I am a daughter of an immigrant and a single mother. I came from a home that dealt with domestic violence, struggled with mental health, a lineage of addiction, and poverty. As you are reading what seems to be a list of unfortunate events or dealt the “wrong cards” I always grew up seeing it differently. My upbringing and childhood served as some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life and has helped me arrive to where I am today.

When I was younger, I was forced to grow up a lot quicker than most. I experienced a lot of heartbreak, tough life decisions, sadness, and trauma growing up. However, on the contrary, I was always loved and countered the negative things that were going on in my life as I was kid and was surrounded by folks that truly cared and invested in me. I was the youngest out of three kids with just my mom raising us all. Being a first generation Mexican American, I was the first to graduate from a four-year college. I was the first to create and start a successful non-profit. I was the first to enter the entertainment industry (what I do full time aside from my non-profit). Being the first at anything has a lot of, “Where do I begin?” “Am I doing this right?” “I don’t even know what I’m doing.” And of course..a lot of self-doubt. Like I mentioned earlier, my upbringing influenced a lot of what I have been able to achieve so far.

At a young age, I had a lot of people in my life who served as mentors that were truly invested in my future. I have always been so grateful for the adults in my life that always motivated and challenged me to be better. I was always inspired to be great because of them. I felt like I have an obligation to not let the people that believed in me down.

What should our readers know about your business?
I am the founder of a nonprofit called Pueblita. I founded Pueblita in February 2021. We sell freshly made corn tortillas and use majority of the proceeds to give back to the community. Everything we do is free for the community and done mainly in Long Beach, California. We hope to eventually expand to other communities soon. We have hosted a wide range of events such as Back to School Drives (we donated school supplies, tablets, books, backpacks, etc), we’ve donated money to other organizations (a food bank that offers free showers and hot meals to the houseless), we’ve hosted grocery/food banks ourselves, we’ve hosted activist/community events such as #StopAsainHate, we are currently in the process of hosting our first small business fair, and finishing the year off with a toy drive in December.

Believe it or not, we fund most of these events through our corn tortillas at $5 or $8 a pack. We hand make every packet for pop ups and online orders every day. Growing up in a Mexican household, making and eating tortillas is like drinking water. We basically eat tortillas with every other meal. With half of my family still based in Mexico, tortillerias are fairly common every corner you turn. For those that are reading this that don’t know what a tortilleria is, it’s a corner store (or in most cases in Mexico, a home) who makes freshly made tortillas every morning. Whenever we would visit my family, we’d head around the corner store to pickup fresh tortillas every morning for the day. Equivalent to how we go to coffee shops to get our dose of caffeine every morning.

I wanted to bring that experience here to Long Beach, California but with a cause. With the pandemic, similar to everyone else, I had a lot of time to reevaluate what mattered to me. I spent so many years complaining to my poor boyfriend of all the things I don’t agree with happening in our communities that I decided to be apart of the solution.

Cooking is super important to my family and myself. I grew up with my brother always cooking fresh meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. I didn’t really eat out at restaurants until I graduated from college because I was always so used to eating at home every day for every meal. From my background all the way to my beliefs, I wanted to bring the power of food to the center of the conversation of making change. When you hear about Pueblita, it always follows with our tortillas, that spark a conversation about food, that lead into discussions about our community and what we need to do to make the change.

Right now we are based out of our home doing popups and online orders at Pueblita.org. However, we are looking forward to the day we can open our very own tortilleria.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have so many people to thank for where I am, but of course, I owe the most of my success to my amazing mom. She’s my best friend and my partner in crime. She taught me everything I know. She taught me how to lead with love, to believe in myself, to be independent, to be confident, to use my voice, to educate myself, and to just be me. I was a wild child growing up. Not in the mischievous trouble making way, but always questioning EVERYTHING and make sure to do the opposite of what everyone said kind of way.

If you told me girls should wear dresses and like the color pink, I would wear button ups and obsess over the color blue. I always went against the grain and my mom never really ever questioned it. The only thing that she ever really said was, chiquia loca/crazy little girl. Everything I do today, I do it to make my mom proud and show her everything WE can do. I see it as, when I reach a milestone, we both reach a milestone. My mom sacrificed a lot for me to have the best opportunities and for that I owe her everything. I wouldn’t be here today without all of her love and support.

Website: Pueblita.org

Instagram: @pueblitatortillas

Facebook: @pueblitatortillas

Image Credits
Christina Shook – For all the photos

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.