Munchie’s Roc City Empanadas to deliver to NASCAR starting next week
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A Rochester small business, forced to adapt after coronavirus lockdown may be on the verge of a large-scale breakthrough on a national stage.
Munchie’s Roc City Empanadas is poised to deliver to a series of major auto racing events around the south, starting next week.
“We have an amazing opportunity,” exclaimed founder Luis Carrasquillo,
When News10NBC saw Carrasquillo almost two years ago, his Munchies Roc City Empanadas restaurant on Clinton Avenue was struggling under COVID restrictions, but that meant branching out into new ways to sell his specialty dish.
“We are trying to create something that will last forever,” Carrasquillo declared. “And NASCAR is one of those ways that we can get there.“
After transitioning from his restaurant, into his food trucks and selling through venues like SeaBreeze and RIT., Carrasquillo has gotten a deal with national sports food company Levy Group to sell his empanadas at the Folds Of Honor Quicktrip 500 in Atlanta next weekend, an enormous step up into the major leagues of foodservice.
“He will be selling his specific Roc City Empanadas and different type of empanadas I hope he’s selling, to crowds that are reaching the tens of thousands at a time,” said Agustin Rodriguez with the Ibero American Investors Corporation, part of Rochester’s Latin advocacy organization Ibero American Action League.
Carrasquillo’s empanadas and his personality inspired Ibero enough that it has helped him with a business plan, and $25,000 in funding to launch this foray into the nationwide market.
“Luis has lots of pie in the sky ideas,” Rodruguez said. “He is thinking in a way that entrepreneurs who really want to go to the next level should be, about how to export the thing they’re really good at."
Friday Carrasquillo is based out of Rochester’s Commissary Kitchen business incubator but he’s already looking at locations for a possible empanada factory. His trip to NASCAR in Atlanta will be a bare-bones trial run with just him, three workers, his truck and about 6,000 empanadas, but if he can hire more people and get more funding, he says the Levy Group has invited him to set up five kiosks at future events.
“Each kiosk is manned by about 12 people,” he calculated. “So if you figure that out they offered me about five different kiosks that’s over 60 people that we could employ today.”
Rodriguez says Carrasquillo’s plan looks like something that could turn his small businesses into a substantially larger one, offering numerous jobs, if his empanada sales really do pick up as an opportunity like this one makes possible.
“We’ll see how far his dreams actually catch up to the “Kodak” size idea that he has,” Rodriguez said.