Half Moon Empanadas redefines Miami’s food scene

by / ⠀News / June 10, 2024
"Miami Empanadas"

Pilar Guzmán has left an indelible mark on the Miami food scene with her company, Half Moon Empanadas. Starting as a small business, Half Moon Empanadas is now a nationwide chain, boasting airport outlets and serving as a preferred snack point for travelers and locals alike.

With its high-quality ingredients sourced from local suppliers, the company offers authentic and fresh Latin American empanadas. Guzmán’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication have resulted in redefining the empanada market, thereby raising Miami’s culinary reputation.

Guzmán and her business partner, Juan Zavala, ensure each empanada is filled with tasteful ingredients. Their empanadas, filled with a wide range of flavors, cater to a diverse clientele. “We never compromise on taste and quality. Each empanada is a testament to our dedication,” Guzmán says confidently.

From its establishment in 2008 in South Beach, Half Moon Empanadas has expanded to over 20 locations, including multiple locations in Florida. The company has seen impressive growth, recording the sale of over five million pastries in 2025 alone.

Half Moon Empanadas: Shaping Miami’s culinary landscape

The company plans to extend its reach by launching more outlets across the U.S.

The variety of fillings in their empanadas reflects their cultural heritage, including meat, cheese, vegetables, and fruits. This blend of Spanish and Arab culinary traditions is a testament to Zavala’s effort to introduce his Argentine culture to the U.S. Each offering incorporates an array of Spanish and Arab flavors, offering a rich amalgamation of tastes.

Even though the company faced various struggles in its journey, Guzmán never let the hardships deter her spirit. Landing a contract to operate in Miami International Airport in 2011 was a turning point, increasing their exposure and making them the highest-earning per square-foot outlet. Despite adversities, they emerged victorious through resolute determination and effective strategies, acquiring new customers and gaining significant traction.

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A major pride point for Half Moon Empanadas is its diverse workforce, with women and Latinos forming most of their employees. This diversity enriches the working environment and significantly contributes to the unique flavor of their product. With unwavering commitment and passion for innovation, Guzmán continues to reinforce the brand’s strong identity and success in the food industry. Half Moon Empanadas is a testament to Guzmán’s steadfast determination and dedication to quality as it continues growing and thriving today.

About The Author

Kimberly Zhang

Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.


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