Who Are You & How Did You Get Here
"You make empanadas?
I love Mexican food."
After 4 years of running Empaná, we've heard this phrase a lot, and it's one of the inspirations behind what is known today as Buenas.
We're Melissa and Sebastian, a pair of Florida-grown kids with roots all over South America (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, to be exact.) We started off with rather self-serving goals—having lived away from home for a few years (we moved from Miami -> LA), we missed the flavors we grew up eating, so we thought we'd try our hand at them. That first run of empanadas was just a test I shared with my co-workers at a small ad agency in Los Angeles (shout-out to the BEST JOB I EVER HAD besides Pita Pit.) That one run of empanadas turned into lots more batches because apparently Sebastian is like, really good at making empanadas.
As the years passed we added more to our menu, like sides and salads you'd typically find in our moms' kitchens. Armed with a robust menu, we started doing small catering gigs in a new city (we moved to Boston). We did this for a while, 'til we realized most of the reason we wanted to share this part of our culture is that it's best enjoyed at home—home cooking is where it's at, if you ask us. Besides, empanadas are leftover food, filled with things you made a day or two before, then baked (or fried) into a new life as a deliciously gluteny pillow of dough stuffed with major yum yums.
So what happened? A PIVOT, YO. Rather than continue on this path of small-business ownership as a catering company, we re-branded and have been laser-focused on getting our line of sauces, ready-to-bake dough and heat-n-eat empanadas onto shelves in stores all over New England and beyond. Because we don't want you to wait for a catering gig to experience these flavors. We'd much rather help make your home-cooking adventures easier and tastier, one jar of sauce, pack of pre-cut dough, or heat-n-eat empanada at a time.
Now more than ever, it's important to share culture. And while we didn't start out with a master plan to school people on South America, we're really excited to share new things with folks who may not otherwise get exposure to them. To our semi-surprise (you gotta BELIEVE it's going to work to be crazy enough to start a food business) people like these flavors too, whether they grew up with them or not. We're so proud to be just one company showing everyone how dope South America really is.
As of today, you can find our empanadas at the amazing Taza Chocolate Bar at the Boston Public Market. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to hear about upcoming additions to our roster of retailers.