We are a family from Uruguay that work together in our small business. Walter and me, Ines, relocated from our American home town Worcester, MA to be close to our children and grandchildren here in Portland, our son Gerardo also relocated from the Bay area. Because we use to make empanadas for meetings and community events with such a success we decided to take the next step and share our food with Portlanders.
In December 2016 we finally bought a mini-house with a small yard and a detached garage and I spent all my free time to my passion, gardening.
On Spring 2017 our food forest was born with the hard work of the entire family that helped me to fulfill my dream. I finally am able to do my part on stopping global warming. Carbon sequestration, healing mother earth, food security and many more reasons to undertake a permaculture project in our backyard. It is very comforting and we have fresh organic food for us and many culinary herbs for our empanadas.
Since then it has been a very emotional and intense time. We lost our food trailer in an accident while coming back from Portland Saturday Market, had to build a new one and started the journey to convert the old garage to a commercial kitchen. We had the invaluable help of our friends from Worcester that helped us to get a free of interest Kiva loan, we also invested all our savings and got a Mercy Corps loan to finally receive the license from Oregon Department of Agriculture and since January 2019 we have a place where to make and store our frozen empanadas. The commercial kitchen allow us to wholesale frozen empanadas.
Our customers can find PDX Empanadas at 6 of the New Season Markets and Vegan Mushrooms empanadas are sold at Food Fight Grocery Stores.
PDX Empanadas is currently a permanent member of Portland Saturday Market. It is a large window toward tourism that is getting better each year. We open our doors on weekends form March to December to work with a great artisan community and a group of international food vendors, many of them members since the PSM started 41 years ago. We take decisions together to better serve our customers. We have music and singers in our small stage and embrace local street artist and those that are passing by. During summer local families come with their children to enjoy the sprinklers and the magnificent waterfront of the Willamet river. Each weekend our customer encourage us to keep working when they come back to buy more empanadas and make comments on which one they or their friends prefer, or like two weeks ago when a couple came back to tell us that the pork one they ate was the most delicious thing they ate in their life. If you have try our empanadas we would love to have your feedback. Send us your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org. THANKS
Un año ha pasado desde el ultimo post y mucha agua ha corrido bajo mi puente. Las empanadas han ido evolucionando, creciendo, fusionándose según las necesidades del mercado. Las empanadas Uruguayas, aun más que las Argentinas son muy versátiles. Nuestra herencia inmigrante viene de muy diversas fuentes que aportan, cultura e ingredientes muy variados. Como resultado tenemos una empanada en la que se puede poner lo que sea. En mi casa se aprovechaban las sobras de comida y se creaban recetas “con lo que hay” con resultados increibles. Las empanadas argentinas tienen recetas muy precisas que pertenecen a cada provincia y las de Buenos Aires en general son mas libres como las de Uruguay. Este hecho me ha dado la capacidad de crear de acuerdo a los ingredientes disponibles en Portland y adaptarme a las circunstancias. Por supuesto que cualquiera puede ver la influencia Italiana en mis empanadas porque mis ancestros italianos me lo heredaron. También influencia rusa ya que los había y muchos donde nací y mi padre vivió en €n pueblo ruso pero en Uruguay, aunque parezca increíble, los mismos rusos que trajeron el girasol que hasta entonces era desconocido. En mi comida hay influencia alemana y cheka que vino a través de una de mis tatarabuelas. Los uruguayos tenemos un gran consumo de quesos ya que las vacas son el centro de nuestra economía y eso se ve claramente reflejado en nuestras empanadas. Realmente podría presentar muchas más variedades pero estamos limitados por el espacio en nuestro food cart, creo que hemos llegado al límite de nuestra capacidad.
Lamentablemente no podemos abrir mas de cuatro horas al día porque el sitio no es favorable para otros horarios. Por eso nos hemos expandido a PSM y los farmer markets que hemos encontrado disponibles. Nos hemos visto obligados a cerrar los lunes porque trabajamos los fines de semana y necesitamos tener al menos un día para descansar.
fourth step done: we are in Fort Collins, in Paula and Gray’s home. It took longer than planned because the GPS took us for a longer way. This place is beautiful, we can feel the presence of the mountains. This part of the city is old, there are small single family homes very similar from each other, they have compost, gardens, and chickens. This is an enviable neighborhood. Streets are wide, bicycles rule the street.
April 14th we arrived to Portland. Empanadas Revolucionarias became PDX Empanadas.
First step accomplished, we arrived to Willoughby, Ohio with no problem. We already have diner and are in the hotel in a good shape by now. Most of the way was known area because we went to Niagara Fall a while ago, but everything was new when we went through Pennsylvania and Ohio. New York landscape is beautiful and so are the mountains of Massachusetts. We saw immense vineyards. We ate at an Italian restaurant, pasta with sauce but it was so much sauce that I couldn’t eat it all and the plate had the salt that should be eaten in the entire month. The hotel is very comfortable so I hope we can have enough rest tonight.
To the far west – Camino al lejano oeste
Second day. We arrived to Davenport, Iowa, 3:30 central time. We drove 80 miles per hour the most of the time. We had intense raining in our way. The landscape changed a lot, mainly flat in Indiana and Illinois, many industrial farms, trees are short, some farms with small trees with twisted branches that for sure are fruit trees but I don’t know what kind of fruit. Many wind power towers in Ohio. This city is picturesque, there are not three deckers, but many fast food chains thriving.
We have a sign in our car dashboard that says that the car needs maintenance. We checked fluids and seem to be okay. Called AAA, they said it does not need urgent care, something related to gas exhaust, they recommended not to drive over 70 miles per hour and use better gas.
The time to say good by has arrived. After 10 years of living in Worcester we have to move from this wonderful community. I want to publicly say an special THANK YOU to Laura Suroviak, Mary Keefe and Matt Feinstein for welcoming me when I just arrived to US and introduce me to the best of this vibrant community. I will have you in my heart for the rest of my life.
Next weekend, March 23 and 24, after 3 pm my home will be doors open to friends and neighbors that would like to say good by and warm my soul with a hug.
Empanadas revolucionarias was born 10 years ago out of my activism in Worcester, MA. The first time that I made empanadas in USA was for the birthday party of the collective Go Go, in Worcester. I made 80 vegetarian empanadas that disappeared in a few moments. Compañeros started asking me to make empanadas to share in our meetings. I started catering for events, parties and so on and the name “Empanadas Revolucionarias” came out of the creative mind of my dear friend Matt who meant by that food for social change.
Worcester is a vibrant city full of diversity where more than 90 languages are spoken. Out of that diversity came the Worcester World Cup event that once a year gather teams representing many countries in a soccer championship. Food from many countries is sold to thousand of families soccer fans. That was a good test for us to realize that our empanadas were a success. Next step was a huge, entire day, art event that is held twice a year and gather artist from towns and cities from Massachusetts. It was a major success. We had a long line of customers along the day and we would sold twice if we had it done.
Worcester is our American ‘home town’ and where our business was born, but we have our family in the west coast. Portland the green captivated us when we visited our children last year. It was a hard decision to take but finally we rented our home, sold or gave away our belongings and drove all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean to start a new life close to our children and grandchildren and share our Uruguayan food with our new Portlander friends