St. Paul entrepreneur now has her empanadas in 50 stores, including Kowalski's

25 Aug 2021


Belen Rodriguez's career plan was thrown into disarray by the coronavirus pandemic.

She was furloughed in March 2020 from her part-time job as a Spanish language translator at HCMC in Minneapolis.

Meanwhile, her growing catering business was falling apart as in-person events were canceled or postponed.

"It was really scary," she said.

Rodriguez's husband suggested selling some of her empanadas in a grocery store. By summer, Rodriguez, who moved to Minnesota from her native Argentina in 2012, was testing the concept by selling frozen empanadas at a farmers market.

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