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“Hell, Yes!” It’s Yoli Tortilleria’s Marissa Gencarelli

Photo by Erika Mattingly

my name

Marissa Gencarelli


My family in Sonora, Mexico still call me “Marissita,” meaning I'm little

MY Home Base

Kansas City, Missouri

MY biz

Yoli Tortilleria. We make stone ground corn tortillas, Sonoran-style flour tortillas, salsas, tamales, aguas frescas, burros, encurtidos, and more. We want to be part of how people experience Mexican cuisine and its diversity, and believe in using traditional Mexican culinary methods with seasonal and local ingredients. 

Yoli’s Corn Tortilla Variety Bundle

Yoli’s Corn Tortilla Variety Bundle

what I’M known for

Stone-ground corn tortillas, Sonoran-style flour pork fat tortillas, and our Taco Stand salsa. Nowadays, we are also known for our pop-ups at our retail shop Yoli Westside, where we bring in chefs from all over town to have some fun. We have collaborated with Chrissy Nucum from KC Pinoy to make ube tortillas for her sisig tacos. We also worked with Rick Mullins who made octopus tostadas using our mar tortillas—a special batch tortilla we make where we swirl squid ink to make it look like waves are crashing; use chives to look like algae; and blossoms to mimic what comes to shore. Our overall theme is letting people's imaginations run wild.

Mar tortillas from Yoli!

Mar tortillas from Yoli!

How I’m Doing

I'm energized by seeing our trajectory. Last summer, we opened our first retail experience while also launching our Sonoran-style tortillas. Doing these during a pandemic was not easy, but it pushed us to be very creative. This year is all about scale and growing the community we have been building via our pop-ups. We are launching our Eat Yoli Zine series, and I'm just thrilled to be able to dedicate the first one to my home state of Sonora. The zine was a collaboration with illustrator Frank Norton; it shares personal anecdotes and Sonoran cuisine recipes. It will be available online and at our retail store in Westside on June 28. 

Yoli Pop Up (2).jpg

Yoli pop-up

How the Bombesquad can help

Our zine is on pre-sale at and starts shipping in July! Check it out along with our other products. If you’re in Kansas City, stop by our Westside shop!


Secret Skill

I can run forever. I'm not fast, but I just can somehow run for a very long time.

MY Motto

“Hell, yes!” If you are not saying "hell, yes" with full enthusiasm then you should probably say “no,” or come back to it later. I have no time in my life to be doing things that I don't really want to do, or to spend energy on things that I'm not sure about.

Most loved cookbook

My favorite one lately is Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, and Tara Wigley. And yes, I prefer the British cover!


essential kitchen tool

My Microplane zester. I use it for spices, garlic, ginger, cheese, and, of course, citruses.


Favorite pantry item

Masala Mama cooking sauces. My favorite is Coconut Curry. I use it with vegetables, chicken, fish... I just add light coconut milk, Masala Mama, and off we go. So tasty!

Masala Mama.jpeg

Squad Shoutout

Helen Jo Leach. I’m totally obsessed with everything she is doing at The Town Company in Kansas City. Everything from mochi donuts to an amazing tropical Dreamsicle dessert! It almost brought me to tears last time I was there, thinking of summers coming in from riding bikes all day long, grabbing a Dreamsicle, and telling my mom how I’d won a race against all the boys. Incredible!