Rising at two in the morning, Mrs. Bañuelos would haul her infant sons to her one-woman factory on Temple and Bixel, laying the toddlers to sleep on spare sacks of corn and flour. Mrs. Bañuelos worked happily to keep pace with her customers booming appetite for her homemade Mexican food. The demand for her Mexican cuisine grew naturally and in 1954, the first Ramona’s Mexican Food plant and restaurant opened in what is now South Central Los Angeles. At that time, the neighborhood in which Ramona’s Mexican Food opened had never really experienced the true flavors of authentic Mexican food. But rather than curb her cooking to the local flavors, Mrs. Bañuelos took another approach. She decided to educate her customers and give them a real taste of Mexico, just as she had learned it cooking alongside her mother and aunts in Sonora. This meant using real chili peppers, not chili powder; fresh, homemade masa; and none of the overwhelming ketchup and spice flavors that mark most Americanized takes on Mexican fare. Mrs. Bañuelos served only authentic dishes in the company deli, along with their prepackaged version, and the ingredients needed to recreate them at home. Her Californian customers literally ate it up. Today, Ramona’s Mexican Food remains headquartered in Gardena — but its products and their reputation have spread much further, across the United States and around the world. Meanwhile, its recipes survive in their original and uncompromised form, delivering a rare taste of true Mexican cuisine — just as Mrs. Bañuelos intended. Fresh meats and vegetables, authentic flavors, and a commitment to food of the highest quality, since day one.