Empanada Entrepreneur Works Toward her Food Truck Dream

By Julia Rose

Published 03/26 2014 11:35PM

Updated 03/26 2014 11:38PM

When we think of street food we think hot dogs, burgers and cheese steaks. But in the Mohawk Valley, we have a story about a local woman pursuing her dream of owning her own food truck, filled with empanadas.
It started last summer with an old pop-up camper and a can of paint. Now, a Rome woman's empanadas and other Spanish foods are in high demand. Sarita Ruiz started a homemade food truck business and is now on a mission to buy a real street kitchen and turn this side business into a career.
Ruiz lives in Rome where she decided to give street cooking a try.
"A friend of mine and I decided that we were going to build food trucks, we did all the research and figured out hey, we can do this from the ground up,” says Ruiz.
And that's just what they did. Ruiz bought an old pop-up camper, gave it a paint job and hitched it to the back of her Chevy. Then came the Latin flavor.
"I serve homemade empanadas and empanadas are a Spanish pastry stuffed with filling," said Ruiz.
Ruiz had a successful summer of empanada sales at community events and on places like Varick Street in Utica. She says she found her hidden passion.
"I fell in love with the business, it's so much fun seeing the smiles on customers faces when I serve them an empanada."
But now it's time for an upgrade to a real, fully equipped food truck. The food camper has been out of commission all winter but Ruiz says with a real food truck she could serve up her empanadas all year round.
It can take Ruiz up to an hour to assemble her food truck by herself. She also lacks sufficient kitchen supplies in her empanada cart so once she runs out of goods, it's time to pack it up.
"With the food truck, it would be so much more time effective and so much more efficient for me and I really want to make this my career this is not just a hobby anymore this something that I want to do for as long as I can," says Ruiz.
Now, the problem is food trucks are expensive, which is why Ruiz is using Kickstarter.com as a way to raise the money needed for the truck. Her goal is six thousand dollars and she has 10 days left to hit the mark.
To check out her Kickstarter page, read more on her story or make a donation you can visit the website here: Sarita's Kickstarter Page

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