About Our Family Company

Our family started La Tienda in 1996 to share our love for Spain and her incredible food traditions. We are passionate about supporting small Spanish producers and delivering the very best food and cookware to you.

Founder Don Harris stepped ashore in Valencia as a young US Navy chaplain in 1965 and it was love at first sight. Eight years later, he moved his family to live among the sherry bodegas of El Puerto de Santa María.

Now his sons, Tim and Jonathan, manage the company. Both have lived and studied in Spain. Their mother, Ruth, and brother, Chris, are also owners and contribute to La Tienda’s success. Chris was born in Spain and has served as a diplomat at the embassy in Madrid. The family visits Spain often to renew friendships with suppliers and search for delicious new products.

Our mission is to work with small family-run businesses in Spain to support food-making traditions that go back generations. We also support sustainable agriculture and fisheries, and the ethical treatment of animals. This allows us to source the very finest products for you to enjoy.

Our talented team is at the heart of our success. We strive to take care of our employees by providing livable wages, quality health care and free language classes, earning La Tienda designation as a National Outstanding Workplace of the Year.

For a more detailed account of how La Tienda came to be, you can read Don's reflection, A Love Affair with Spain: How La Tienda Began.


Official Cross of the Order of Civil Merit

La Tienda 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.

Camino de Santiago Study Abroad Scholarship Endowment

In partnership with The College of William & Mary, we fund an annual scholarship for W&M students to participate in Camino de Santiago pilgrimages and other study abroad opportunities in Spain. Along with two anonymous donors, the endowment is a combined gift of $100,000.

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient network of trails across Spain. Originally a religious pilgrimage route, it is now a popular hiking trail for those seeking physical and spiritual renewal regardless of faith. Members of our family have walked and studied on the Camino over the years, and it has deepened our love of Spain's history and culture.

National Outstanding Workplace of the Year

The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) awarded La Tienda the National Outstanding Workplace of the Year for its 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

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

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.

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 the funds raised by this initiative directly benefited the Spanish Federation of Food Banks (FESBAL). Thank you to our customers for supporting this effort!

Collaboration with World Central Kitchen

We also work with chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen which feeds people in times of crisis, 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 $100,000 to support World Central Kitchen since 2018.