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1920

Women win the right
to vote in the U.S.

1921

The World Series is broadcast on the radio for the first time

1927


Elisha Shabaz begins selling tamales to pushcart vendors in downtown Chicago, founding Illinois Tamale Company

1929

The stock market crashes, precipitating the Great Depression

1934

The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup

1938

The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup

1940

Elisha’s youngest son Edward starts working at Illinois Tamale Company with his dad

1946

Edward’s son Warren is born

1947

Jackie Robinson plays his first MLB game with the Dodgers

1949

The tamale business continues to grow steadily

1952

The Shabaz family continues to grow steadily as well

1955

Warren begins working at Illinois Tamale Company at the ripe old age of 9. At this time the only employees are Warren, his grandpa Elisha, his grandma Nancy, and Pete the Armenian.

1958

Elisha and his wife Nancy diligently rolling tamales

1961

The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup

1964

Warren assumes management of Illinois Tamale Company, incorporates the business and condenses the name to Il-Ta-Co (Iltaco) Foods Company

1965

Warren is drafted into the Army and is shortly thereafter dispatched to the U.S. Navy, while his mother and brother manage the business in his stead

1969

Man lands on the moon

1970

Warren resumes management of Iltaco upon his return from military duty  and gets straight to work

1971

Warren falls in love and marries his lovely bride Mariam

1973

Iltaco moves operations to its current location at 1376 W Hubbard Street

1974

Warren & Mariam have their first child, a daughter named Alisha, her namesake being her great grandfather and Iltaco’s founder Elisha

1976

This was a big year! Warren & Mariam’s first son Andrew is born,
as is the Pizza Puff! The Original Pizza Puff is introduced to local Chicagoans and quickly added to Iltaco’s line of products

1978

The Beef Pizza Puff is added to the Puff product line

1980

Warren & Mariam’s second son Adam is born

and the Ham & Cheese Puff is added to the Puff line

1981

First female Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor is sworn in

1985

The Burrito is introduced and the Taco Puff is added to the product line

1986

iltaco burrito fun
The Chicago Bears win the Super Bowl and everybody partied hard

1987

Four Cheese, Spinach & Cheese, and Deluxe Puffs are added to the product line

1989

The Big Pizza is
introduced and added to Iltaco’s product line

1991

The World Wide Web is introduced to the public

1992

Iltaco expands its current location

1997

2001

Alisha Shabaz begins working at Iltaco Foods

2005

The Chicago White Sox win the World Series

2008

President elect Barack Obama delivers his acceptance speech at Grant Park in downtown Chicago

2009

Adam Shabaz begins working at Iltaco Foods

2010

The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup

2012

The Gyro and Breakfast Sausage flavors are added to the growing variety of puffs

2013

The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup and the BBQ Pulled Pork Puff is added

2014

The Buffalo Chicken puff is added to the roster

2015

Andrew Shabaz begins working at Iltaco Foods; the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup

2016

The Chicago Cubs win the World Series and the Reuben Puff is added

2017

The sales team working hard at trade shows

2018

Warren and Mariam now have all of their children working in the family business

2019

Andrew’s first son Alex begins his Iltaco training, becoming the fifth generation of Shabazs to learn the family biz

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