Doña Paula Asunción is the owner of Mixteca Catering. Mixteca (meesh tek a) is a region in Southern Mexico, which includes Oaxaca (wah – HAW – kah) where Paula was born and raised. The Mixtec people are the indigenous inhabitants of Oaxaca, and developed regional flavors and cuisine that are internationally known today. Paula has been cooking traditional Oaxacan tamales and sauces called moles (MOH lays), most of her life. She developed her unique flavors and molesauces over years of cooking for her family of six children, and later, professionally through her culinary business.


In 1994, she began working in the food industry as a food preparer and over the years as her family grew, she dreamed of starting her own business. In 2012, Paula began selling her tamales and mole sauces at St. John’s Farmers’ Market with support and training from Micro Mercantes, a program of Hacienda Community Development Corporation. Micro Mercantes, works with low income businesses as they transition to a formal business. Paula’s delicious tamales were an instant hit at the farmers’ market! She quickly found a following among Portlanders, easily selling 300 plus tamales on Saturday mornings.


Today, Mixteca Catering is a family business that involves Paula’s children and grandchildren helping out on all levels—from business planning to serving tamales at Saturday’s market. Loyal customers keep returning every weekend during the summer to purchase tamales to share with friends and family. As our business has flourished, our catering services have increased.  Now, we are sharing authentic Oaxacan cuisine throughout the year in the greater Portland area.