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The Empanada Lady~Nada Average Expansion Campaign

There is an inherent need for a larger property space to continue our operations, as there is an increase in (you) our customers!

pledged of$50,000 goal
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Project Description

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” – Alan D. Wolfelt

Close your eyes and let’s go on a journey.

Imagine being afraid to walk in your purpose because of the doubt of others.

Now, reimagine believing in yourself, trying and succeeding. Which one feels better?


Affectionally known as The Empanada Lady, Elisa Milan chose the latter, believing she could, and she did! What began as a simple dare/challenge that she could not make money selling food evolved into a passion and love for providing authentic recipes to bridge the gap between the Afro-Latinx culture and Baltimore’s dynamic community.

Elisa utilizes a family recipe passed down from her grandmother with a love that was given in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and is hand rolled into each savory empanada. Since 2016, she has created a cultural haven supported by minorities, artists, and creatives where she and her team have been able to shed light on the need for communal spaces dedicated to experiencing and engaging in rich cultural practices. 

Once Elisa officially won the bet, consistently selling out of her delicious empanadas, she realized her business was still going strong and by November 2021, with the help of her dedicated team, transitioned to Motor House, a prime urban culture and arts hub, where The Empanada Lady continues to grow and prosper, so much so that she’s outgrown the current setup. 


We need your support!!!


There is an inherent need for a larger property space to continue our operations, as there is an increase in (you) our customers, the demand for food, and overall storage and functionality. Through our positive impact within the community: by providing delicious and authentic empanadas, we also fuse the experience of food with the culture to connect to our people within the community.  

Our unique storytelling experience has created a connection to the people; YOU are what contributes to our continued success and rapid growth. We at The Empanada Lady strive to provide an experience using a trifecta: The brick-and-mortar location, off-site catering services, and third-party delivery through apps like Uber Eats and Grub Hub.

Elisa also runs a weekly event called Nada Average Tuesday, where customers and others like you can learn about blending the culture and the community and continuing to spread the word. Creating this experience and others like it are part of why The Empanada Lady wants to continue to touch the people and have conversations about building and working together in our community. We need to have conversations that put Baltimore in an uplifting light and continue those talks that help strengthen the communities and limit the hardships and violence in larger urban cities.

The Empanada Lady wants to accomplish and fulfill its mission of providing food, community outreach, and support via expansion, and we need your help. Support would be needed for the following initiatives:

Relocation Costs:
• Deposits | $8,000
• Permits | $3,500 
• Legal/Licensing | $25,000 
• Equipment | $30,000 
• Startup Inventory | $10,000 
• Furniture | $12,000 
• Working Capital | $15,000 
• Uniforms
• Plant Life to boost the internal environment
• Interior Design Customizations
• Curated Space | Nada Average Tuesday
• Mural (Commissioned by Local Artist) | $2,500 

The Empanada Lady and her team are more energized and dedicated than ever to continue providing services to some of Baltimore’s most creative and artistic individuals, adults, both young and old. We want to continue to be recognized as a positive and influencing entity leading the community toward success and as a model for others to follow while providing enjoyable food filled with cultural and communal love.


The Campaign FAQs


  • What is an Empanada?
    • Our empanadas are true Puerto Rican culture, natively known as pastelillo. It is hand rolled dough wrapped around a filling of your choice with seasoned and authentic spices. Then flash fried and served with our famous Nada Sauce.


  • What are your passions?
    • Aside from cooking, my passion is creating opportunities for the community. My Sous Chef, Ericka, is just as passionate about providing top quality food and service! I love working with individuals that are equally as passionate about their craft and simply need an opportunity to reach their consumer base. Ericka also is a small business owner who is the sole provider for our dessert menu, The Bread Puddin' Lady, as she is known around the city has grown her brand by being apart of the team. Partnering with small business owners is something I am extremely passionate about and will continue to do as The Empanada Lady brand expands.


Sharisse Smith
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Maggie Villegas
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JaRee Walker
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Kerry Fitzpateick
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Ines Dunmeyer
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40.00 USD
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Just Because I Care

14 Supporters
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About the Entrepreneur

Baltimore, MD
Created 2 Campaigns
Business Services
Social Good


40.00 USD
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

14 Supporters
Select this reward