Succeeding by making it easier

Hipatia LopezThe following is an interviewed conducted by Hugo Acosta, the publisher of the CNY Latino newspaper, to a member of our Latino culture, who has not only created a very useful tool for the cooks and chefs everywhere, but also can represent a proud sample of dedication and determination, and a pride of our culture as a Latina and as a Woman.

She invented the “EMPANADA FORK” (http://www.empanadafork.com/), a small strong tool made out of stainless steel with a soft handle grip, used to close foods such as empanadas, pastries, patties and more. The interviewed was held on the phone, on Monday, October 28 2013.

Now we have on the phone lines a Latina who not only has been a pride in our culture but apparently now has become a pride in the entrepreneurial world. This is a woman who invented something that is becoming quite popular in the business world and the commerce industry. Her name is Hipatia Lopez.

Hugo: How are you..?
Hipatia: I am doing well and you..?

Hugo: It is a pleasure to interview you, I read in advance information about you and your invention. I appreciate the opportunity you are giving our audience and our readers to know more about you.
Hipatia: I’m so happy for this interview and thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my story.

Hugo: First of all what’s your Hispanic heritage ..? In what country were you born or which country your family is from..?
Hipatia: I was born here in the United States and both of my parents are from Quito, Ecuador.

Hugo: So practically you are from Ecuadorian heritage… Can you tell us a little about yourself ..? What are you, a housewife, working for a company, you’re an astronaut, you’re a … what do you do …?
Hipatia: I’m not an astronaut, ja ja ja … but yes, I studied in college and graduated as an accountant and work on it for more than seven years with a public accountant doing taxes and all that… And after my second child (I have three children now) I decided to do private accounting and do “book keeping” for businesses, to do some work and help in the office. And I love what I do because I have time to work and also spend time with my family and my kids because they play a lot sports. Helping with the school, the home and all that..

Hugo: Yes, helping your family… And your children, the age of your children – What are they..?
Hipatia: The oldest one is 18, then 13 and the last one is 8 years old.

Hugo: Congratulations to your family and we hope that everything will go well. Well, tell me why we are interviewing you..?
Hipatia: I invented something (an utensil) that was an idea I got during one of the Thanksgiving Day gathering with my family but I had not implemented… I thought it was something a little crazy that I could do that … but I jumped and I said I will see and I look and I look on the internet, in the bodegas, to see if anyone was selling it and I did not find it anywhere and I did some research to see what I have to do to patent something. And I shared with my parents and my husband to see if they thought I could do it and they told him to try it … For they know that when I do something I’m very decisive and if I put my mind to it I can do make it happen …

Hugo: Fantastic and I understand that what you invented is something that will help people to prepare a popular Latino dish or food ..?
Hipatia: Yes, for our families is an appetizer… and for many families this is done a lot during the holidays… Latinos do it because it is easy to eat by hand and many people make it different. Latinos make with meat, cheese, chicken, and now Americans are doing “apple turnover”, they make it with fruits as well… Many things are made with this that I did not even imagine or knew.

Hugo: And we’re talking about patties, right?
Hipatia: Yes, empanadas (patties) that I do a lot during the holidays. I make a hundred and when I go to parties that is what I bring because people love my empanadas but it takes a lot of work to make them and when you make lots of it, your fingers hurt and is a little hard.

Hugo: In other words, to make it the traditional way with your hands is quite laborious, hard work, right ..? Then you invented something to make it easier and you called it Empanada Fork…? I do not know if this can be translated to Spanish..?
Hipatia: Yes, it is also said fork but we called it Empanada Fork so people don’t think it is just a fork. But when they see the product, they say, oh it’s like a fork but has teeth around it…

Hugo: I am here watching on the internet and we will quickly give our viewers and our readers a reference where they can not only see this utensil or the product if we can call it that… It will be a little difficult to explain in writing or for the radio or in the newspaper… It’s like something that you can grab with your hand, it has a handle, it is made of metal (iron, I guess)… And is made so that when you squeeze against the dough it helps you seal the outside pie… how should I explain this, help me out here..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHXEJAoEJKI#t=43

 

Hipatia: Yes, it helps close the border, is a utensil, a product that has teeth and when you squeeze hard against the dough it helps you to seal it…

Hugo: Fantastic and you can apply to the edge of the semi round pie… Well, would you want to explain to us what, if anything, maybe inspired you and gave you this idea…? It was not something that happened over night, right ..?
Hipatia: No, it didn’t happen overnight. I got that idea on a thanksgiving day and I did not know if I was going to do something with it and then I waited another year. And when again I had to make so many empanadas I thought no, I have to do something about this. I did not know how the product was going to look like but I have two designs now and I got the patent of the two designs and I chose one that I liked the most.

Hugo: Interesting ..! Hypatia refers to a patent. She had to register her product or design and is the legal way that one uses in America and I think in the whole world where you can register your product or something you invented. The patent says that you created that device, that product belongs to you and nobody can steal the idea or copy it, Right..?
Hipatia: Yes, and that process takes a long time. It can appear or not because sometimes there is another or someone else created the same thing in the other side of the world.. It really took a year to get the patent…

Hugo: Great for that is something that would help you when you start to produce in industrial and factories amounts obviously you have the right to receive the money that comes out of that production …
Hipatia: Yes, that’s how it is…

Hugo: Give us a reference where we can learn more about your invention and perhaps where we can order. I don’t know if you’re selling it now… Is there something on the internet that we can give a website …?
Hipatia: Yes, I am selling now in my website at www.empanadafork.com. And recently I’m in a QVC contest. Therefore in qvc.com people can also buy the product…

Hugo: And let me ask you a curiosity question… Where did your name come from..?
Hipatia: It’s also my mom’s name… And she does not know where it came from either but many people say it is a pretty unique name. I do not know if it has any meaning…

Hugo: Yes, it is unique, it’s different… I have noticed that many times our parents and grandparents combined the name of the mother and father and what comes out is something strange, different…
Hipatia: Yes, yes…

Hugo: Well, Hypatia Lopez… Here she is and once again, thank you for your time and we wish you a lot of luck with this invention .. I’m considering to buy one or two for my family. And I guess you will not have problems distributing this among Hispanic and I wonder if the restaurants should also consider your product to make this traditional dish or snack faster, don’t you think so..?
Hipatia: Yes, and also in supermarkets. I hope they sell along with the dough which I believe it’s a good idea and I want to go into something like that…

Hugo: I don’t know if you can give us this information here in our interview but what is the costs, what is the price of your product..?
Hipatia: It cost $19.99. And right now there is a coupon code on the internet and you can get a 15% discount …

Hugo: Another thing that occurred to me as I have not invented anything but I own a business. And one thing I’ve noticed is a program called “Shark Tank” on TV… Do you plan to go there and talk to these people ..?
Hipatia: Yes, I also like the program but I’m hoping to get a contract with someone to be more prepared because I know that Mr. wonderful will ask a lot of questions .. Yes Mr. Wonderful is quite strong..

Hugo: For our viewers and readers who do not know about this program it is a group of five or six millionaires who sit and listen to your idea or invention and if they like and are interested, they invest in your business or idea… I read on the website that not many people qualify.. They give you the money but you’re right you have to be prepared, ready.. And tell us is there something else you want to share or that I forgot to ask you…
Hipatia: Well, if people want to see a demonstration of the Empanada Fork and how it works, I have some video on YouTube.. Where my family and I do a demonstration…

Hugo: Well do not forget about us when you become a millionaire. You call us and let us know.. We which you a lot of success with this product and I imagine that other products may be invented to help create more Latino or non-Latino products easier depending on what you want to do. We thank you once again for your time…

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