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Aug 23, 2015 3:27 PM ET

Archived: Chile Lindo: unique country-style home cooking, or cocina artesanal

iCrowdNewswire - Aug 23, 2015
Personal Story

My name is Paula Tejeda, I am the sole proprietor of Chile Lindo. Chile Lindo is an empanada shop in the Mission district that serves as a cultural hub for the Mission district community and for people interested in Chile and South America.

I was born in New York City to Chilean parents and grew up between Chile and NYC. I first came to the San Francisco Bay Area during my teens, in the early 1980s. I studied production at Laney College in Oakland, and was accepted to San Francisco State University in the highly competitive media communications program. I completed two internships at this time, one at KTVU, Channel 2 and the second at KPIX, Channel 5. However, due to my perfectionist nature I did not feel worthy of my degree and abandoned my studies before graduating. I left California and went back to live in Chile from 1986 to 1988, and then back to New York City from ’88 to ’94. I returned to San Francisco in 1994.

I bought Chile Lindo in 1995. For five years it was a husband and wife team. In 2000 the marriage ended and I continued with the business alone. I took on a second job with the Pendergast Group to produce Mayor Willie Brown and Mark Leno’s small business summit. I was in charged of community outreach and bilingual media outreach.

In 2008 I finally completed by education from Mills College. I graduated from the Spanish and Spanish American Studies program with a 4.0 and with the departments top honor, El Premio Gabriela Mistral. I was awarded a scholarship from Mills while attending City College of San Francisco. I focussed on perfecting my writing skills in Spanish and English. To get my Bachelor’s degree I took a five year hiatus from Chile Lindo, between 2003 and 2008. During this period, although I did not have the empanada shop, I continued building the Chile Lindo brand through production work.

After graduating, I went back to reestablishing the Deli and Coffee Shop. In 2009 I joined the street food movement and became The Girl from Empanada. After running around the Mission district selling empanadas out of a basket for nearly a year, I raised enough capital to re-open my shop on 16th Street. In 2010 Chile Lindo Deli & Coffee Shop reopened, offering excellent coffee, espresso drinks, and gourmet empanadas.

Business Description

Chile Lindo puts forward Chile’s unique country-style home cooking, or cocina artesanal. Our empanadas, pan amasado (homemade bread), and dulces chilenos (pastries) conform to traditional methods of kneading the dough by hand. The food is prepared to order, comprised of nothing but top quality ingredients, bought locally, and adhering to sustainable farming principles.

My entrepreneurial passion stems from my vision. The realization that food is at the heart of cultural expression, and that in the United States–an immigrant economy–food is your calling card. It all starts with food. Every immigrant group started with food! This understanding, the example from my family that always showed deep regard for cultural expression, my formal education, and my production background–all contribute to pursuing my vision for Chile Lindo, a bridge that extends from San Francisco to Chile.

What is the purpose of this loan?

The purpose of this loan is to increase Chile Lindo’s capacity to meet our growing demand by acquiring additional equipment and staff.

Contact Information:


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