Pictures and Video Courtesy of Hipatia Lopez and Telemundo47

This month’s Latina is coming from Elmwood Park, NJ. We are proud to announce our Latina Innovator, Hipatia Lopez from Empanada Fork. Hipatia, is an inspiration and a leader with big ideas and determined to accomplish what she wants, through hard work and dedication.  We commend her for her work and thank her for making our lives so much easier with the Empanada Fork! Without further ado, here is the story in her own words…


H.L. Unico LLC came to exist because of my invention, the “Empanada Fork”.  I invented a pastry press kitchen utensil which creates fork like impressions on the dough that seals the edges of the pastry.

During the holiday season my family and I were making one hundred empanadas for our family gathering.  (I am Ecuadorian and my husband is Dominican.  We have three children.  Nonetheless, the whole family gets involved in making empanadas.)  Each pastry edge would need to be stamped with a fork approximately six times on each side in order to seal it.  To say the least, the length of time needed to seal each pastry with a regular fork was very time consuming.  An idea was born and found myself envisioning how it would look and soon found it difficult to think of anything else.  Soon after, I found an architect that was able to help me translate my idea onto paper and bring it to life. With a clear picture of my idea in hand, I decided to go forward and begin the patent process, which took about one year in order to obtain approval.

After I received my first shipment of the “Empanada Fork” utensil, I started reaching out trying to spread the news about my invention to anyone that was willing to listen. The first rejection was difficult to accept which made me second guess myself a bit.  Despite this obstacle, I knew I had to do what my gut instinct was guiding me to pursue so I pushed forward and wouldn’t give up.  I continued my journey to spread the word and reach out to potential contacts that could help in any way.  Then, finally it happened.  A broker from QVC wanted to enter my product in an inventor contest which meant publicity and the potential to be seen all over the world on their website.  I was so grateful to be given the opportunity to be part of that experience.  Things were finally starting to come together.  As a new company with limited advertising funds, having QVC as an avenue for my product is amazing.  I believe that anything in life is attainable if you have the drive to work for it and make it happen.

My product is now sold through online stores such as: QVC, Uncommongoods, and Mexgrocer.  It is also available in stores at LEBRON Restaurant Equipment & Supplies in NYC and Kerekes Bakery & Restaurant Equipment in Brooklyn, NY.

two forks

Follow here on Twitter: @Empanadafork   and Facebook: Empanadaforkutensil


Thank You Hipatia Lopez for your wonderful creation. Be sure to get your Empanada Fork this holiday season for a much faster empanada. We always look forward to sharing ideas and inventions from our Ladies. Working together to create and promote success!

the latinas united 2

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