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Sylvia Nolasco-Rivers Reprioritizes

A smaller tamale shop will leave more time for her nonprofit.

by Sabine Bickford

From the July, 2018 issue

Sylvia Nolasco-Rivers is downsizing Pilar's Tamales. She closed the dining room next door to her original restaurant in June to devote more time to her new nonprofit.

She says she has been holding various fundraisers in the community since 2000, including ones for people in Haiti, Yemen, Nepal, and her home country of El Salvador, and recently for Ann Arbor's sanctuary movement.

Nolasco-Rivers says having her own nonprofit will help to make that work more streamlined and give help more immediately in a crisis. But, "those things require energy, they require time, they require a bit more money, and so those are all things that are going to be possible with me being able to just let go of that beautiful little space that I had for six years."

Nolasco-Rivers will continue to operate her catering business and provide grab-and-go meals at the People's Food Co-op and Argus Farm Stop. The main losses to her customers will be the additional sit-down space and Nolasco-Rivers' "community room," used by friends and customers for yoga classes, spiritual services, and simply as "a space to get away."

Nolasco-Rivers says she isn't too worried about the loss. "You can still have a little seating in here," she says of the tiny waiting room that fronts her commercial kitchen. Gesturing to the walk outside, she adds, "There's a little seating out there. Technically about twenty people can be here if they want to be here at once."

Pilar's Tamales, 2261 W. Liberty. (734) 929-4161. Wed.-Fri. noon-6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sun..-Tues.     (end of article)

[Originally published in July, 2018.]


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