Nelson and Jenny Flores
St. Catharines, ON
Signature baked empanada and sweet pastries
Fiesta Empanada is a fledgling Niagara food business owned and operated by two enthusiastic entrepreneurs, Nelson and Jenny Flores. The couple bake empanadas and sweet pastries for a growing list of wholesale and retail customers.
Empanadas are a type of baked or fried turnover consisting of pastry and filling common to Southern European, Latin American and the Phillipines cultures. The Flores’ are extremely proud of their heritage and that clearly comes through in their Filipino Inspired, Baked Empanadas. They are made by folding dough over a filling, which may consist of meat, cheese, tomato, corn, or other ingredients, and then baking the resulting turnover.
Located on St. Paul Street, among an eclectic collection of shops, services and restaurants in downtown St. Catharines, the Flores’ have transitioned their business from a home-based effort to a trendy bricks and mortar shop where they make and sell a growing selection of products. They now have capacity to make their empanadas on site to sell wholesale to other restaurants and stores or they can sell direct to consumers from the vibrant storefront, as well as at local farmer’s markets.
With Regional Relief and Recovery Fund help from Venture Niagara, they received a loan that has helped them navigate the challenges of being a young business and at the same time to address the challenges of the pandemic.
Fiesta Empanada is now growing the wholesale side of the business and is better able to meet the demands of their direct-to-consumer offerings as people slowly return to the downtown area and pick up their baked empanadas as a quick snack, flavourful meal or to take home and share with family and friends.
Nelson and Jenny Flores both note that, “The pandemic is something we could not have anticipated in all the planning when we started our business. The financial help we received from Venture Niagara is greatly appreciated. The money we received through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund made it possible for us cover our operating expenses and even grow the business through a very challenging time.”