Bolivian Entrepreneur Brings Latin American Cuisine to Maine with CDFI Support
Client: Adrian Espinoza Garcia, Empanada Club
Client Location: Portland, ME
CDFI: Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
CDFI Service Area: ME
Financing and technical assistance
When Adrian Espinoza Garcia moved from Bolivia to Maine with his wife a few years ago, he had a hard time finding empanadas, a staple food in his home country. After perfecting made-from-scratch recipes and deciding to launch his own business, Empanada Club, he turned to local community development financial institution (CDFI) Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), where he joined the StartSmart program, which supports immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs.
Now that Adrian has grown his business and sells Latin American products wholesale and directly to consumers at farmers markets and events, he has his sights set on having his own storefront. In the meantime, he is a part-time member at Food Fork Lab, where he makes his products using equipment purchased with a CEI loan and support from the Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Program.
“I am having fun being an entrepreneur but it’s like having a baby basically, so this business is always crying,” Adrian shared in a recent video featuring Empanada Club. “CEI definitely helped me to get my confidence. I’m happy to have them as a partner.”