Food News

Rincon Argentino Brings Empanadas to a Larger Market With Lazo Foods

Rincon Argentino has been serving the hot pockets of South American goodness known as empanadas for more than three years in Boulder. In the fall of 2014, owners Christian and Karley Saber expanded into the space next door, doubling the restaurant's seating capacity. But the Saber family thinks the demand for its empanadas has exceeded the physical limitations of the space, so Christian and his brother and brother-in-law, François Saber and Luis Gomez, launched Lazo Foods to bring the empanadas to a wider audience. Lazo recently began selling a line of frozen empanadas to local breweries, coffee shops and hotels. The company also plans on selling frozen, ready-to-bake empanadas in grocery stores in the near future.

The empanadas come in five different flavors: ground beef, beef steak, barbecue chicken, spicy chicken and spinach and cheese. Lazo also makes chimichurri sauce to go along with the Argentinian hand pies. François Saber explains that Lazo's empanadas are based on five of the top-selling flavors at Rincon Argentino, but that some changes were necessary to scale up to larger production. "Even though the restaurant has twenty different flavors, we felt the volume and scale of the retail market was not suited to an overly large variety of flavor options," he notes. "While slightly different, the empanadas maintain their flavor, quality, authenticity and general product integrity found in the empanadas purchased at Rincon Argentino."

Right now, Lazo empanadas can be found at places like Boulder's Upslope Brewing Company, at Aloft Hotels in Denver, at Maci Cafe in lower Highland and at Three Four Beer Co. in Fort Collins. If you want to try them yourself at home, you can order a box of ten from the Lazo Website in any of the flavors (or a mixed box with two of each) for $25 — and don't forget to include a jar of chimichurri ($7).

The company hopes to be in grocery stores nationally by late summer or fall, and the family is also planning to add dessert and appetizer-sized empanadas to the lineup.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation