The people of Doylestown love empanadas.
That’s good news for Kendall Bajek, who opened Empanada Mama in late April. The menu includes homemade empanadas, prepared in a variety of styles adapted from several South American countries.
In fact, the concept has been so successful that Bajek, a Central Bucks East graduate, is already growing out of her space at Andre’s Wine & Cheese Shop in the Doylestown Marketplace on South Main Street.
Bajek said the demand for empanadas is high—she regularly sells out.
“To my surprise—and of course, delight—the business has been much more successful than I had originally anticipated,” Bajek said.
While she thinks her current location “is a fabulous spot,” space is limited. “Andre has been so incredibly supportive of what I am trying to do, but he needs his dining room on the nights and weekends for his own customers, so I can only do lunches at the moment,” she said.
If and when she does move, she promises to stay in Doylestown and increase business hours. “It is the community in the borough that made this all possible,” she said. “Once I get my own place, I will be open on nights and weekends.”
She attributes her success to the support of the local business community. “I am not in a position to pay for advertising so I market myself solely on Facebook and word of mouth." The local businesses and residents have embraced her online and have helped to spread the word, she explained.
Bajek changes her menu each day and posts it on the Empanada Mama website, www.yoemama.com, by 9 a.m.
“I try to shop for what is in season and what inspires me while at the market. I also get a lot of inspiration from the meals that I eat out at other restaurants and then try to put them into empanada form when I get back to my own kitchen,” she said.