What's an Empanada Fork? Hispanic.com Interviews the Inventor

Posted: Apr 22 2014

Hispanic.com is fortunate to have the opportunity to chat with Hipatia Lopez, the inventor of the Empanada Fork about her new patented product for empanadas.

Hispanic.com: Hi Hipatia, now tell us, what is an Empanada Fork? 
Hipatia: Sure, to summarize it, it’s a closer for the dough in empanadas.

Ok, an empanada dough closer. Please tell us more about how you invented the Empanada Fork. 
Yes, well it comes down to big Hispanic families. I have 3 kids. I’m of an Ecuadorian background and my husband comes from a Dominican background. Together, it’s a big family, and everybody is a primo.

After a while I lose count!

We have Thanksgiving or Christmas at my house every year. And part of the holiday tradition is making empanadas. Initially we started making about 30 empanadas and then it eventually became 100. It’s a lot!

So, one day, me and my kids were sitting around making all these empanadas, and I was getting tired of going around the empanada with a fork, so I thought “hey, there has to be a utensil to close these”.

But there wasn’t much besides a Tupperware item.

What did you do next? You moved forward with developing the Empanada Fork. How’d you do it?
Quite frankly, I started out from the very basics. I started speaking to patent lawyers and got a few laughs in my face at first. But eventually I found a good lawyer and the patent process took a year. That was a tough period. My lawyer had said – you cannot tell anybody. Not even my mother. 

I had to be very secret. Finally I told my mother and my mom said “I already know, you’re pregnant!” I said no!!! So then I told her- and she was like “oh my gosh!”

What an adventure! So now that the product is in production, where are you selling it?
I sell it through my website: EmpanadaFork.com and it’s also listed on QVC’s website, QVC.com.

What are some of the tips you’ve learned along the way through developing the Empanada Fork? 
I’ve learned so much! I’ve met so many great people, and learned there are a lot of great people who really do want to help. 



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