About La Tienda
Our Connection to Spain
Our family lived in Spain in the 1970s. Don, the father of our family, first experienced Spain when he stepped ashore as a young US Navy chaplain in 1965. Eight years later, he and his wife Ruth raised their children among the sherry bodegas of El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz) when Don was stationed at Base Naval de Rota. During this time, we grew to appreciate the personal dimension of Spanish life, where children are cherished and family ties are central.
We carried that appreciation forward into the formation of La Tienda, where two of the three sons, Jonathan and Tim, are now responsible for the day-to-day business operations. Jonathan, the middle son, is head of product development and creative director, responsible for the look and feel of the website and our catalog. A fine arts major, musician and cook, Jonathan spent a summer walking the Camino de Santiago during college and returned to walk it again with his wife Stacey several years later for their honeymoon. Tim, the eldest son, is responsible for the operational and financial side of the business and joined La Tienda in 2002 after founding and operating several Internet startups during the 1990s. He spent his first years of primary school at El Centro Ingles in El Puerto de Santa Maria and returned many times to Spain while growing up, including spending a summer in Sevilla. Christopher, the youngest, is a diplomat with the US Foreign Service, and while not involved with the business directly, consults closely with us. He was born in Rota, in southern Spain, and was stationed at the embassy in Madrid for three years.
We travel to Spain frequently, renewing friendships with those who provide us with their fine products and searching out new and interesting artisanal items to add to the growing list of products available online and through our catalog. Whenever possible, we work with small family-run businesses in Spain, many of whom are continuing food-making traditions that go back generations. We also support sustainable agriculture and fisheries, and the ethical treatment of animals. We hope to help our Spanish suppliers stay connected to the land and their traditions. In turn, we hope that you will enjoy the authentic flavors of Spain that have enriched our lives.
For a more detailed account of how La Tienda.com came to be, you can read Don's reflection, A Love Affair with Spain: How La Tienda Began.
To read more about the people, food and soul of Spain, order The Heart of Spain: Families and Food by La Tienda founder Don Harris.
To learn more about Spain's influence on early Virginia history, click here.
Our Commitment to You
None of this would be possible without a fundamental commitment to your experience as a customer. We guarantee a positive experience for you -- quality products delivered in excellent condition, or we will replace or refund your purchase. Many of our best products were suggested by our customers and we encourage and benefit from these conversations. We are always happy to hear from you. You can reach out to us here.
Clean Business Award
In March 2023, La Tienda was presented with the Clean Business Award for our recycling efforts in our community by the Peninsula Clean Business Forum. The Forum's purpose is to promote environmental improvements in the business communities through litter control, recycling, and beautification. La Tienda recycles over 100,000 pounds of cardboard every year, and we are committed to using responsibly designed packaging that is recycled or recyclable.
Official Cross of the Order of Civil Merit
On October 11, 2012, La Tienda co-founder Don Harris was awarded Spain’s Official Cross of the Order of Civil Merit on behalf of His Majesty the King of Spain, by Ramón Gil-Casares, Ambassador of Spain to the United States. The award was given in recognition of Harris’ extraordinary services promoting the people, culture and foods of Spain in the United States.
National Outstanding Workplace of the Year
On April 3, 2012, the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) awarded La Tienda the National Outstanding Workplace of the Year for its six-year commitment to providing English classes free of charge for Spanish-speaking employees. The purpose of the Outstanding Workplace of the Year, Chester Klevins Award is to honor an institution which has developed an outstanding workplace literacy program serving a local community, state/province, region and/or nation.
Outstanding Workplace Education Partnership Award
On October 13, 2010, the Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education (VAACE) honored La Tienda with the Outstanding Workplace Education Partnership Award for providing English as a second language classes to their Spanish speaking employees, free of charge.
The Captain John Smith Award
In September 2010, La Tienda was awarded the Captain John Smith Award at their local county's 17th annual Celebration of Business. The honor is awarded annually by the James City County Economic Development team to an individual or business for exemplary contributions to their local community.
Supporting World Central Kitchen
We support chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen which feeds people in times of crisis and natural disasters, including supporting millions of families during the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The non-profit also teaches people how to better their communities through education and ongoing support. With the generous support of our customers, we have raised over $85,000 to support World Central Kitchen since 2018.
Supporting the Amercian Pilgrims on the Camino Grants Program
We are committed to supporting the vitality of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a network of pilgrimage routes throughout Europe that culminate in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. We make gifts to American Pilgrims on the Camino, a U.S. nonprofit organization, in support of its grants program, which prioritizes financial support for nonprofit pilgrim hostels and Camino infrastructure.
Campaign For Spain: Over $100,000 Raised for Spanish Food Banks
Our La Tienda Campaign For Spain raised over $100,000 to bring essential food supplies to struggling families in Spain during the 2008 economic crisis. With unemployment at over 25% and many in need, we were proud to support the people of Spain, a country that we consider our second home. All of the funds raised by this initiative directly benefited the Spanish Federation of Food Banks (FESBAL). Thank you to our customers for supporting this effort!