SEATTLE, Wash. - - Frelard Tamales started serving up tamales in the Fremont and Ballard areas in 2015. After moving to Green Lake about year ago, they added a new item to their menu: a t-shirt that says "Make Tamales, Not Walls."
“We just started selling them to customers a couple of months ago. We think it’s just a great way to say what we stand for, that we’re not for hatred or racism. We’re really about bringing the community together, bringing people together,” said Dennis Ramey, Co-Owner of Frelard Tamales.
Ramey’s husband Osbaldo Hernandez migrated to the US from Mexico with his family and now lives legally in the US. But he says today’s political climate and the discussion about building a wall at the southern border led them to use their business platform to speak directly to their customers.
“Immigrants are not a threat, they’re not terrorists, they’re not here to swell on a social welfare system. They’re here to contribute and we want to remind people, as they come into our booth or come to our window, of that message,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez says the business is still thriving and he’s not worried about getting any negative backlash.
“You kind of have to respect that people have their own perspectives and their own opinions. I’m always going to believe that it’s misinformation that causes people to have a negative reaction to what we stand for,” Hernandez said.
As the fight about the border wall continues in Washington DC, Hernandez says they just want people to remember what’s really at stake.
“I think that we need to work on improving our immigration system so we can allow more people to come in in a legal manner. And remembering at the same time, that it’s very difficult for people to wait in their home country when people are experiencing violence, poverty and they have to find a way to feed their families,” Hernandez said.
Last month, Q13 News reported a similar story about a bakery in Edmonds that received national attention after selling its "Build the Wall" cookie.
The Edmonds Bakery and its cookie went viral after one customer posted about it on Facebook. The customer said she was offended by the cookie's message but many others supported the bakery. The bakery's owner, Kenneth Bellingham, said he had orders from all over the country.
Bellingham says he didn't expect to get so much attention over the cookie but believes he too has a right to sell it.