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Belén Rodríguez

Occupation: Founder & CEO at Quebracho Empanadas

Country of Birth: Argentina

Current: Minneapolis, MN

 

Originally from Argentina, Belén moved to Minneapolis in 2012 after meeting her husband in Colorado and moving with him back home for four years.

She comes from the Argentine Pampas and like most families in the region, hers has a business in the beef industry. Growing up in this environment and seeing her dad grill almost every weekend since she could remember meant her career in Scientific Translation would at some point come to an end, as her heart was truly in the kitchen. She first started cooking for friends and family in the U.S. as a way to reconnect with her roots and to cope with homesickness, but the hobby quickly turned into a desire to switch careers and after a few years working at restaurants she decided to take a step back from the restaurant world to open something of her own.

Her first concept was Quebracho Charcuterie & Pies—a small-scale pop-up and catering company that specialized in the art of charcuterie and savory pies, with her grandmother’s empanadas as one of her menu items. But in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to shut down her business and she was faced with the decision of either closing the business for good or pivoting and finding a way to continue sharing her family’s recipes during such unprecedented times, and so Quebracho Empanadas was born. Her new concept allowed her to keep the essence of the company alive, while still doing what she loved and, most importantly, accompanied by the same team—the same family, it all started with.

Quebracho Empanadas is now a wholesale manufacturer of frozen empanadas that people can take home and finish cooking in just under 20 minutes for an authentic, homemade family meal.