Aaron: “I moved from Seattle to Miami to be a music minister and go to school. I saw Margaret at a concert and wanted to meet her. A mutual friend put on a concert several months later, and we were the singers.”
Margaret. “We started talking and the rest is history — 19 years and four kids later. We moved here five years ago to be worship pastors at Coastal Church in Daphne.
Everything we do is ministry, including starting this food truck. We named it Divine Empanadas because everything comes from God. I was born and raised in Miami. I loved empanadas, a fried meat pastry with a flour shell stuffed with all kinds of yummy flavors. There was no place to get empanadas around here.”
Aaron: “We were looking for business ideas. We both come from families with great cooks who had restaurants. We were walking through Little Havana and thought about bringing empanadas to the Eastern Shore. We took that and added our soulful twist. We started in 2018 with catering and deliveries. We also had a tent and hotboxes at the Fairhope Farmers Market. Then we got the food truck. We stayed busy during COVID by dropping off on porches around the Eastern Shore. Divine Deliveries is our non-profit side. We deliver empanadas to fire stations and police officers. We care for those who care. We also feed the homeless and help feed after disasters. The dream is to have food trucks in Atlanta, Miami, and Seattle and give back to the cities that have meant a lot to us.”
Margaret: “In the beginning, we got home from work and made empanadas in our kitchen by hand. One empanada at a time. It took off, but I was the only cook, and it was hard to keep up with demand and work our full-time jobs. Now Aaron can make them and do everything that I do. I learned that I didn’t have as much patience with him as I thought, but I learned how to have more. Through trial and error, we have learned our system.”
Aaron: “I’ve got it now. We also have an empanada press that we got from Columbia and put our kids to work. Our goal is to build a small team of about 10 people and keep running during the week, instead of just weekends. We hired our first employee and that felt good.”
Margaret: “I grew up playing in the back of my aunt’s restaurant. We were always in her kitchen and helped her at festivals. My grandmother would cook for families in a large stretch of south Florida. She was phenomenal and created her own sauce. I was eight when she died, but I grew up with my mom cooking things with the sauce and she passed it down to me. People always ask me about the sauce when I use it, so we’re going to bottle and sell it. We’re calling it Mother Blanche’s Sweet and Sour Sauce.
We are grateful for all that is happening, but the most important part of Divine Empanadas is connecting with people. We greet each customer with a smile and conversation to get to know them. We call it the Divine Experience. We want you to feel better when you leave our truck.”