John’s Homestyle Hot Tamales

402 South Street
Cleveland, MS

John Williams, Jr., cousin to the late Joe Pope of Rosedale, grew up eating hot tamales at Joe’s Hot Tamale Place. Like his cousin, John saw selling hot tamales as a way to make extra money. In 1999, D&L Manufacturing closed its doors, and John was out of a job. To make ends meet, he developed his own tamale recipe and set up shop on South Street in Cleveland, Mississippi. John credits his years as a foreman at D&L to his mastery of hot tamale production. With his son and daughter at his side, John fills and rolls about forty dozen shuck-wrapped tamales an hour. Soon, John hopes to standardize his recipe for manufacture and sell John’s Homestyle Hot Tamales in stores around the country.

Date of interview:

June 23, 2005


Amy C. Evans


Amy C. Evans

John's Homestyle Hot Tamales - John Williams Sr. - Tamale Trail
I think it's because of that tradition, one of the reasons why I ended up making [hot tamales]. Like I say I remember my cousin, Joe Pope, over in Rosedale, back when I was in high school we were making them. And I'm fifty-seven, and I just love eating them. So I believe one of the reasons for me making them was for convenience for myself. I enjoyed eating them, too.

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