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Community Highlights: Meet Marcelo Gutierrez of The Empanada Factory

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcelo Gutierrez.

Hi Marcelo, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born in the city of Mar del Plata Argentina where during my teenage years I discovered my passion for surf and travel. So like any other surfer, I was hooked on the “surf life style” of that time and California was the place to go. In 2001, I came to Los Angeles to visit some friends and once I got here, I fall in love with the weather and the energy that this city has. At that time, the only chance I had to accomplish my dream of living in LA was to open my own business. So after some research, I came up with the idea of opening an Argentinian restaurant. I decided to settle in Venice beach even though it is not the best beach for surfing but it was the best place to start my Empanada shop. With a lot of effort and with little previous experience in the restaurant business, I managed to rent a small window on 19th and the boardwalk and The Empanada Factory was finally born. A few years later, I moved the restaurant to a bigger location on West LA and I am still here cooking the same recipes since 2003.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Like any other small business owner, I had my fair share of struggles but my biggest one has been keeping my restaurant a float during Covid 19. The constant changes on the rules to operate during the pandemic has put a lot of stress on me and my family.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The Empanada Factory?
I specialize in empanadas and I make more than 20 different flavors. I do catering and private events and I also have an empanada food truck ready for any event. My proudest moment was when LA Weekly and also CBS news chose The Empanada Factory as the best empanadas in LA.

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