Hipatia Lopez

Hipatia Lopez
Founder and CEO, Empanada Fork

My name is Hipatia Lopez and I was born and raised in New Jersey.  My parents are from Quito, Ecuador. I graduated from William Paterson University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting.  I worked in public accounting for 6 years.  

Currently, I have two part-time jobs and started my own company called H.L. Unico LLC.  I opened up my business because I invented a kitchen utensil called “Empanada Fork” which is a pastry press used to make fork like impressions on dough.   I have 2 design patents on my invention.  I love being an entrepreneur and hope to inspire other women to invent.

Birth Story of my invention:
My husband Henry is Dominican and is the cook in our family, we have 3 children.  I had an idea during the Thanksgiving holiday season while my family and I were preparing the holiday menu in my household.  We were making 100 empanadas and naturally I was the “closer” which I did not like because it took forever and my hand started to hurt.  

I stopped and thought, “I wonder if there is a utensil I can use to close them?”  So I started to do some research and had the idea on my mind 24 hours a day.  When I told my family what I wanted to do – they said “Go for it!” so I started to contact lawyers and realized I was on a road to something great.  

This journey which started off with an idea that seemed crazy to me at first has helped me grow as an individual and I feel grateful for this opportunity.  I realize now that it is okay to take chances in life.  I hope to make my utensil known to others and tell the WORLD it exists:  "Empanada Fork"

Hipatia Lopez