What better way to celebrate Latin American cuisine than to enjoy tasty empanadas!  While they may be a long-standing staple in places like Argentina and Spain, they are quickly becoming a welcome meal or snack any time of day in the Richmond area!  It’s simple to make delicious empanadas a part of your family’s tradition with Empanadas Market! They offer unique empanada creations to please everyone in your family!

Ignacio and Clara Dutari married in the year 2000 in their home country of Argentina just before moving to the U.S.  They planned to return home after Ignacio earned his MBA from Yale.  Upon completing his education with a final internship in Texas, they took a road trip crossing 15 different states and fell in love with the beauty of Virginia.  Ignacio embarked on a career as an analyst at Capital One in Richmond.  After fourteen years of building a diverse toolbox of business skills (and a nest egg to get started), Ignacio felt he was ready to go all in after his long-standing dream of starting his own business venture.  He left Corporate America in late 2016 to pursue a very different passion: feeding his community with his extraordinary empanada creations!

Ignacio offers a wealth of knowledge about the history of empanadas, as well as current trends across different cultures.  He remarked, “Every region in Latin America has its own version. You see a pattern of using ingredients that are most common in that area.” In Spain, tuna is a popular ingredient while in Argentina the empanada is more like a baked quiche with beef as a main ingredient.  In Argentina, empanadas can be found everywhere from fast food chains as quick comfort food to high-end restaurants offering more refined handcrafted creations.  In Central America most empanadas are made with corn, while wheat flour is the typical choice in South America.

Empanadas offer such versatility and Ignacio incorporates a real fusion of cultural cuisines in his creations.  This enables every customer to find something they love!  You’ll taste Italian influences in his cheese, scallion, and onion empanada, as well as his caprese version.  You’ll enjoy the Mexican inspiration behind his cheese, onion and chorizo combination.  Many of his vegetarian options like his spinach and ricotta and zucchini and parmesan empanadas, were adapted from his Mother’s original recipes. Living in Richmond and local customer requests have sparked delicious creations like the cheese, bacon, and ham empanada, as well as specialty desserts.  Customers are encouraged to save room for treats like their Caribbean inspired guava, cheese and walnut empanada or classic churros and alfajores. 

Clara played a large role in creating Empanadas Market, from building a social media presence and their website to direct sales at farmers markets.  Ignacio recalls, “Clara is the people person.  She developed the connections.  She was so instrumental in building the business.”  In the past few years, she shifted her focus to her fulfilling career as an Interpreter for a local University Children’s Hospital.  Ignacio is grateful to have assembled a strong team with diverse strengths across all areas of service.  The company’s positive reviews don’t just focus on the outstanding taste of their empanadas, they rave about their customer service. Ignacio explained, “We focus on hiring people with the right attitude who are engaging and get fulfillment in helping customers and staff. Customers come back because of the experience we offer. Our role isn’t just to fulfill orders.  It’s to make very happy customers and to help them even if they don’t buy.”

If you’ve never had empanadas and even if you have, you’ll want to try Ignacio’s flaky and light culinary creations at Empanada’s Market.  His fusion of cultural traditions and flavors provides customers with a truly unique unforgettable meal.  Their huge variety of frozen empanadas make even large family meals a snap!  Stock up for your family through the RVAg Micro Market when you order through the RVAg Marketplace or visit them at their Richmond store at 1110 Westbriar Drive in the Tuckahoe area for a freshly baked empanada!