Tamales fuel family after job loss

      SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The smell of fresh Mexican cuisine wafts through the parking lot at 2020 Main St. in Springfield as the Quiroz family fires up the stoves at the brand new Quiroz's Taqueria.

      As the family hands out tamales with a flourish and a smile, it may be hard to believe that they've just opened.

      But they're no strangers to selling food; the family has been selling tamales door to door for years.

      Seven years ago, Florentino Quiroz found himself out of a job.

      His daughter Erika remembers the fear that job loss caused the family.

      "We were like, 'What are we going to do, how are we going to pay the rents and the bills?'"

      The answer came from Florentino's specialty dish: tamales.

      "He's all like, 'we can start making tamales!'" Erika recalls.

      At first, their endeavors were slow going.

      "We went doors to doors," says Erika.

      But soon, the tamale business became red hot.

      "We did pretty good, and after that people kept saying 'oh my gosh, these tamales are so good!'" Says Erika.

      Now, after years of saving, what started as a door to door operation now has a set of wheels.

      Florentino's son Jose says what's at the core of Quiroz's Taqueria is pride and love, and he adds that's only compounded by the fact that they're running their business together.

      "I'm glad we are together, I like working as a family," says Jose.

      Through Erika's translation, Florentino tells us he's nervous to start his own business, but he's excited to be able to sell his food on a wider scale.

      Quiroz's Taqueria had their grand opening Thursday, and celebrated with free tamales Thursday and Friday.

      They plan to be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.