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Pilar Guzman's Inspiring Journey From Immigrant to Empanada Empire CEO

Pilar Guzman's Inspiring Journey From Immigrant to Empanada Empire CEO

TLDR

Half Moon Empanadas serves delicious Argentinian-style empanadas and other Latin American cuisine. Founded by Pilar Guzman, an immigrant entrepreneur, the company uses fresh ingredients and authentic recipes to create flavorful, handcrafted pastries and meals. Customers enjoy Half Moon Empanadas for the high-quality food and the joy it brings with each bite. Driven by her vision and passion, Pilar built an empanada empire from the ground up. Her journey hasn't been easy, but through hard work and determination, she now leads a thriving business. Next time hunger strikes, you know where to go - just follow your nose to the nearest Half Moon location. The aromas will reel you in, but the tastes will make you a loyal fan for life.

Pilar Guzman's Struggle

When Pilar Guzman arrived in America in 2002, she had $200 in her pocket and spoke little English. But she had a vision and the determination to achieve the American dream.

Pilar and her husband Juan, the co-founder, faced tough times when the pandemic hit. They had zero sales for months and were waiting to hear back about a loan application. Things looked bleak but the couple remained resilient. They continued paying their 11 salaried managers, worked on website improvements and rebranding campaigns, and offered delivery and discounts to customers. "We are offering discounts, delivery, and smiles to everyone who comes up to our window to take home our delicious empanadas," Pilar said.

Half Moon Takes Off

In 2014, Half Moon Empanadas got its big break. They won a concession at Miami International Airport, gaining national exposure. From there, the business took off.

Today, Half Moon Empanadas has over 20 locations across Florida and the East Coast. But Pilar hasn't forgotten her roots. She's committed to empowering other immigrants and women. Half Moon Empanadas hires staff from diverse backgrounds, providing opportunities for people to achieve their own American dreams.

An Inspiration to All

Pilar story is one of courage, vision, and determination in the face of adversity. She built an empanada empire through hard work and belief in her mission to share Argentine culture. Pilar is a role model, showing us that with passion and perseverance, anyone can achieve great things. Her journey from immigrant to CEO is truly inspiring.

Building an Empanada Empire: The Rise of Half Moon Empanadas

If anyone knows the meaning of the American dream, it's Pilar Guzmán. In 2002, she immigrated to the U.S. with only $46 in her pocket but a vision of building her own business. Today, she's the CEO of Half Moon Empanadas, a thriving chain with 22 locations across the country.

A Brief History

Half Moon Empanadas serves homemade Argentinian-style empanadas with 11 different filling options. Guzman launched the company in 2008 from a small kiosk in a Miami farmers market. Before starting Half Moon Empanadas, Guzman worked at various organizations including the Knight Foundation and the World Bank. She is passionate about empowering immigrants and women through her business.

Growing Success

Guzmán's empanadas were a hit, and Half Moon Empanadas quickly expanded into its first brick-and-mortar location. Guzmán poured everything into building the company, working 18-hour days to oversee operations. Her dedication paid off - Half Moon Empanadas now has 22 locations, including spots in major airports like Miami International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.

A Vision for the Future

Guzmán's story is a testament to the power of perseverance and belief in yourself. Her dream is to make Half Moon Empanadas a national brand, showcasing her strong faith in its future. This inspiring leader took a chance on herself, and in doing so, built an empanada empire that's still growing today. If that's not the meaning of the American dream, I don't know what is.

Keys to Success: Guzman's Inspiring Leadership

Hard Work and Perseverance

As an immigrant from Argentina, Pilar came to the U.S. with little more than her degrees and a vision. She worked multiple jobs to support herself while getting Half Moon Empanadas off the ground, demonstrating an incredible work ethic and determination. Her persistence and belief in her mission kept her going through the difficult early days. Now, nearly 15 years later, that dedication and perseverance have paid off in the form of a thriving business with locations across South Florida.

Community Focus

Pilar is deeply committed to her local community. Half Moon Empanadas partners with many local charities and nonprofits, donating a portion of sales and empanadas. They also support other small businesses by using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. This community spirit fosters goodwill and loyalty among customers.

Vision and Growth Mindset

Rather than resting on her laurels, Pilar is always looking for ways to improve and expand. She recently opened a new location at Regan National Airport, bringing her authentic empanadas to an even wider audience. Her vision of sharing this tradition with people all over the U.S. is what continues to drive innovation and growth. With Pilar at the helm, there's no limit to how far Half Moon Empanadas can go.

Pilar Guzman's inspiring journey from immigrant to CEO demonstrates what can be achieved through hard work, determination, and dedication to the community. Her leadership has been the key to Half Moon Empanadas' success and longevity. With vision and a growth mindset propelling it into the future, this homegrown Miami business is poised to become a national empanada empire.

Final Thoughts

Like Pilar, you can achieve your dreams through hard work and determination. Don't let tough times stop you. With passion and grit, you can overcome obstacles and build something amazing too. Pilar's story shows that anything is possible in America with the right attitude. Now get out there, take risks, and create your own empanada empire! The only limits are the ones you set yourself.

TLDR

Half Moon Empanadas serves delicious Argentinian-style empanadas and other Latin American cuisine. Founded by Pilar Guzman, an immigrant entrepreneur, the company uses fresh ingredients and authentic recipes to create flavorful, handcrafted pastries and meals. Customers enjoy Half Moon Empanadas for the high-quality food and the joy it brings with each bite. Driven by her vision and passion, Pilar built an empanada empire from the ground up. Her journey hasn't been easy, but through hard work and determination, she now leads a thriving business. Next time hunger strikes, you know where to go - just follow your nose to the nearest Half Moon location. The aromas will reel you in, but the tastes will make you a loyal fan for life.

Pilar Guzman's Struggle

When Pilar Guzman arrived in America in 2002, she had $200 in her pocket and spoke little English. But she had a vision and the determination to achieve the American dream.

Pilar and her husband Juan, the co-founder, faced tough times when the pandemic hit. They had zero sales for months and were waiting to hear back about a loan application. Things looked bleak but the couple remained resilient. They continued paying their 11 salaried managers, worked on website improvements and rebranding campaigns, and offered delivery and discounts to customers. "We are offering discounts, delivery, and smiles to everyone who comes up to our window to take home our delicious empanadas," Pilar said.

Half Moon Takes Off

In 2014, Half Moon Empanadas got its big break. They won a concession at Miami International Airport, gaining national exposure. From there, the business took off.

Today, Half Moon Empanadas has over 20 locations across Florida and the East Coast. But Pilar hasn't forgotten her roots. She's committed to empowering other immigrants and women. Half Moon Empanadas hires staff from diverse backgrounds, providing opportunities for people to achieve their own American dreams.

An Inspiration to All

Pilar story is one of courage, vision, and determination in the face of adversity. She built an empanada empire through hard work and belief in her mission to share Argentine culture. Pilar is a role model, showing us that with passion and perseverance, anyone can achieve great things. Her journey from immigrant to CEO is truly inspiring.

Building an Empanada Empire: The Rise of Half Moon Empanadas

If anyone knows the meaning of the American dream, it's Pilar Guzmán. In 2002, she immigrated to the U.S. with only $46 in her pocket but a vision of building her own business. Today, she's the CEO of Half Moon Empanadas, a thriving chain with 22 locations across the country.

A Brief History

Half Moon Empanadas serves homemade Argentinian-style empanadas with 11 different filling options. Guzman launched the company in 2008 from a small kiosk in a Miami farmers market. Before starting Half Moon Empanadas, Guzman worked at various organizations including the Knight Foundation and the World Bank. She is passionate about empowering immigrants and women through her business.

Growing Success

Guzmán's empanadas were a hit, and Half Moon Empanadas quickly expanded into its first brick-and-mortar location. Guzmán poured everything into building the company, working 18-hour days to oversee operations. Her dedication paid off - Half Moon Empanadas now has 22 locations, including spots in major airports like Miami International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.

A Vision for the Future

Guzmán's story is a testament to the power of perseverance and belief in yourself. Her dream is to make Half Moon Empanadas a national brand, showcasing her strong faith in its future. This inspiring leader took a chance on herself, and in doing so, built an empanada empire that's still growing today. If that's not the meaning of the American dream, I don't know what is.

Keys to Success: Guzman's Inspiring Leadership

Hard Work and Perseverance

As an immigrant from Argentina, Pilar came to the U.S. with little more than her degrees and a vision. She worked multiple jobs to support herself while getting Half Moon Empanadas off the ground, demonstrating an incredible work ethic and determination. Her persistence and belief in her mission kept her going through the difficult early days. Now, nearly 15 years later, that dedication and perseverance have paid off in the form of a thriving business with locations across South Florida.

Community Focus

Pilar is deeply committed to her local community. Half Moon Empanadas partners with many local charities and nonprofits, donating a portion of sales and empanadas. They also support other small businesses by using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. This community spirit fosters goodwill and loyalty among customers.

Vision and Growth Mindset

Rather than resting on her laurels, Pilar is always looking for ways to improve and expand. She recently opened a new location at Regan National Airport, bringing her authentic empanadas to an even wider audience. Her vision of sharing this tradition with people all over the U.S. is what continues to drive innovation and growth. With Pilar at the helm, there's no limit to how far Half Moon Empanadas can go.

Pilar Guzman's inspiring journey from immigrant to CEO demonstrates what can be achieved through hard work, determination, and dedication to the community. Her leadership has been the key to Half Moon Empanadas' success and longevity. With vision and a growth mindset propelling it into the future, this homegrown Miami business is poised to become a national empanada empire.

Final Thoughts

Like Pilar, you can achieve your dreams through hard work and determination. Don't let tough times stop you. With passion and grit, you can overcome obstacles and build something amazing too. Pilar's story shows that anything is possible in America with the right attitude. Now get out there, take risks, and create your own empanada empire! The only limits are the ones you set yourself.

Doron Segal
Doron Segal

Hey I'm Doron, the co-founder & CTO of Per Diem — a mobile app platform for restaurants. I'm also a dad and a husband. I love to travel and meet new people.I love creating things, and see people using the stuff I built.Prior to Per Diem I worked at Saildrone, OpenTable, Apple, Beats Music, Siemens.

Tomer Molovinsky
Tomer Molovinsky

A second time founder with a passion for building products at the intersection of hospitality and technology. I've had the pleasure of launching reservation systems, mobile payment solutions, and loyalty programs at OpenTable and Resy, and witnessed how operators were losing a direct connection with their customers online. We built Per Diem to strengthen the relationships that businesses have with those customers, and to ensure that local businesses can thrive in today's economy.

Ashley Rodriguez
Ashley Rodriguez

Ashley is a freelance writer and podcast producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She hosts a podcast called Boss Barista and writes an accompanying newsletter with full transcripts of each episode and articles about coffee and restaurant work. You can check out her work here (ashleyrodriguez.work/).

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