Hipatia Lopez’s Family Gatherings Led to Inventing The Empanada Fork

By Victoria Cepeda

The origin of the Empanada varies depending on who you ask. Gallegos may have introduced it to Latin America while others take it even farther to Turkey & Greece in what it’s called a Giro. However, the distinctive way that Latinos make crispy empanadas, be it filled with ground pork, beef, chicken or turned into a pastry with guayaba y queso, is a culinary art!

Such art is what Hipatia Lopez mastered in the form of two patented designs which is fittingly called the Empanada fork.

Enjoying exceptional product reviews the protective patented design also provides an attractive stainless steel accent in any kitchen.

“I’m Ecuadorian and my husband is Dominican and between our two cultures we definitely enjoy our time in the kitchen.  In fact, during the holidays when I had to make more than one hundred empanadas, it was frustrating and left me with a sore thumb when using a regular fork to close them. This is when the idea for the Empanada Fork was born and the journey to its creation started. It really is a must-have addition to any kitchen to save you time.”

PL:  What were your initial setbacks and how did you overcome them?
First, was money because lawyers are expensive. It took for a year for the patent to be issued.  Second was failure since being innovative has its risks. Just because you move forward to do the patent process it does not ensure success. There could be denial of the patent because a similar product exists somewhere else. Also, I had no idea what I was getting myself into once patent was issued.  However, I pushed on and asked lots of questions.

PL:  Have you had any sales since the patent was issued?

My sales could be better. I am working on how to best market and advertise more strategically to create awareness of my product.  Once again, that is costly. Right now  promotion, marketing and sales is done via social media and my website.  Luckily, I did win a contest to sell Empanada Fork on qvc.com which is great and should lead to increased sales! 

Regardless of the challenges, I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss. So I always tell my kids that Einstein was a genius in his own way. Perhaps my invention is my kind of genius. It is okay to be different. One thing is for sure, you must be your own cheerleader in every aspect of your life and truly believe in yourself. Eventually things will happen, just be patient.

“The most important thing I have learned is that when you help someone, you get repaid in more ways than one. That’s a great feeling.” 

The Empanada Fork makes a great gift ahead of the holidays for those of us that prepare empanadas. Apparently it could also be used smash platanos into mangu and/or mofongo!

To purchase your own Empanada Fork click on either http://www.qvc.com or www.empanadafork.com

We wish Hipatia enormous success and thank her for cutting down on our empanada making time. Pa’lante!

Pa’lante Latino showcases current events in the arts, entertainment, politics, and culture as it affects our community. Above all, we are ferocious advocates of the contributions that Hispanics/Latinos have made to the United States and feature articles based on historical facts to reaffirm our relevance.Please feel free to email us at .

Caribbean food, Empanada fork, latina entrepreneurs, Latino Food, Latino Inventors
CT Governor To Honor The 65th Infantry Regiment The Borinqueneers
Manuel O. Sanchez: Puerto Rican Civil Rights Activist

4 Responses to “Hipatia Lopez’s Family Gatherings Led to Inventing The Empanada Fork”

  1. It would be the best gift for someone who is always making them and would be a hit for the kiosko’s that sell frituras on the side of the road in Puerto Rico.

  2. Hello! Thanks so much for the support! I do appreciate it! 🙂

  3. Iris Cohen Reply October 28, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Great Idea! Can’t wait to purchase one,anything to make cooking easier and make the empanadas look more professional.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: