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A Taste of Argentina: Fabiano's Empanadas

How do you hold down a full time job and still pursue your dreams? One local couple is taking steps to find out.

Fabian and Renata Mendieta haven't let their jobs get in the way of trying to make their dreams come true. The married couple opened Fabiano's Empanadas Argentinas, a booth featured at the Concord Farmers' Market in Todos Santos Plaza Thursday afternoons, despite working full-time at the energy giant, Chevron.

The couple were inspired by a visit to Renata's home county of Argentina and came back set on opening a restaurant or coffee shop. "We had to start somewhere," said Fabian, 33, and the booth at the farmers' market formed the first step. 

The Mendietas, with help from multiple family members, started the small operation in June of 2010, selling at local farmers' markets in Concord and Pleasant Hill, as well as doing phone-ordered deliveries.

"We couldn't do it without the help of the entire family," said Fabian.

While the booth only sells empanada pastries, Fabian said the business was inspired by a variety of traditional foods he was exposed to in Argentina while visiting with Renata, 36.

"There really isn't an Argentine bakery around [the Bay Area]," said Fabian. "So we wanted to see how empanadas would do before taking the next step."

Though the small business is doing well, Fabian said he's not sure when or if a coffee shop or restaurant will be opened anytime soon. 

"We're still in the 'dreaming' stage," he said. 

Have you tasted the traditional empanadas at the Concord or Pleasant Hill Farmers' Market? Would you like to see a permanent location open?

Tell us in the comments.

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