Empanada Fork seals the deal with new products by Latina entrepreneur Hipatia Lopez

empanada fork Hipatia LopezThe Empanada Fork Utensil aka, “The Empanada Fork Press Tool and The Empanada Fork Pastry Sealer”, is a utensil that is easy, effortless, fast, painless and resulting in beautiful dough design for those whom cherish in food presentations.

Making empanadas, turnovers, calzones and other filled pastries is a lot of fun, but it can also be very time consuming and painful when it comes to sealing the dough/pockets/pastries, etc, which was how the idea was born. The Empanada Fork Utensil made of stainless steel with a soft handle which makes it easy to use. This innovative product is a special design with fork-tines and a sturdy utensil which is a great addition to any kitchen.

The Empanada Fork Press Tool seals your empanadas without using the old technique of the regular standard fork. Just push down on your pastry and “boom”, turnover for another seal (if needed, depending on texture of dough) and a complete seal in 2 seconds, next…

This year we launched a new addition to our “Empanada Fork Utensil” family, “The Empanada Stampers!” This new product is a tool to stamp the empanada dough to identify the filling inside the dough: cheese, beef, veggie and chicken. So now you can entertain an abundance of different empanada varieties without the worry about how your guest will know what filling it is. Also great tool for those who have food preferences and dietary constrains. The empanada fork Hipatia Lopezstampers will work well on both size forks, regular and large.

empanada fork Hipatia Lopez

Cooked empanadas pressed with the new utensils, great for people with food preferences or dietary constraints.

Fans here you go…, I am delivering my promise.

So we have come a long way and now you can enjoy making and eating empanadas with any filling, with a complete seal, a choice of a size along with the description stamped for the identification of the filling and will be great display for entertaining.



Empanadas can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They can be served as appetizers or snacks and they can easily make a full and satisfying meal. Lets not forget the sweet side of filling, the desserts. Use the Empanada Fork Utensil today and relish extraordinary experiences while making your tasty empanadas.

I say these products definitely “seal” the deal. The Empanada Fork Utensil by H.L. Unico LLC was invented and patented by Hipatia Lopez.

Follow Hipatia Lopez in these Social Media Outlets:  IG @Empanadafork; FB @Empanadaforkutensil, Twitter @Empanadafork

best Holiday gifts

10 best Holiday gifts to support Latina entrepreneurs in 2017

Still looking for the best Holiday gifts? Here are some ideas that not only will be a great gift but also will help a Latina entrepreneur achieve her dreams!

At, we are all about promoting Latina entrepreneurs and Latina small businesses. We also support the work of numerous Latina leaders in the country so here is a list of the best Holiday gifts you can choose to make a great impression and yet support a Latina working woman.

  1. Donate $50 to our campaign and receive a beautiful Tote Bag

Looking for a gift that will make a difference?

We donated $2000 to Puerto Rico and Mexico Disaster Relief funds through the Hispanic Federation. Now we need YOUR help to continue supporting our labor of love.

For three years now, we have been promoting Latina small businesses with five employees or less COMPLETELY FREE! Only a small $50 donation will help us continue helping Latina entrepreneurs and Latina small businesses achieve their dreams.

Donate $50 and you will receive our thanks with a very practical Tote Bag that will proudly announce, “I support a Latina entrepreneur.”


  1. Today’s Inspired Latina™
best Holiday gifts

Yai Vargas, Founder Latinistas and Minue Yoshida, business and public speaking coach


Today’s Inspired Latina™ is a book series of inspiration and hope, a poignant collection of personal stories that will activate your passion.  These are success stories that need to be told, to motivate our community for generations to come. By overcoming language barriers, self-doubts and other obstacles in their way, these strong Latinas are a great example of how inspiration and perseverance can lead you to happiness and success in business and life. It’s a positive, empowering read for anyone sitting on a dream and thinking it can’t come true. Today’s Inspired Latina™ shows that it can!





Hanging Secrets intimate apparel organizer closet

Hanging Secrets intimate apparel organizer

3. Hanging Secrets

Frances Prado is the winner of several national contests and a Home Shopping Network regular with her extraordinary bras and underwear organizer “Hanging Secrets.”

Frances is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants who found her passion of being a Latina entrepreneur later in life and is devoting part of her profits to cancer research. ‘

This practical and useful product comes in two versions so you have choices, the regular size that fits perfectly in your closet, and the traveler size to take all your intimates in a perfect condition no matter where or how long you are traveling. Get them both!



  1. Tu Mejor Edad – Para tener una vida extraordinaria

The inspiring story of the founder and editor-in-chief of, a community of women in their thirties, forties, fifties and beyond who want to live their lives without barriers and enjoy every minute of it. Lorraine C Ladish is a prolific author, blogger, writer and social media maven that has created a dynamic community of women around the world.

your best age lorraine ladish


  1. Lux Beauty Club Hair Extensions

From Human Wavy Tape-In Hair Extensions to Clip-Ins, and from Synthetic Clip-In Hair Extensions to Synthetic Straight Flip-In Hair Extensions, there is something for everyone who would like to have astonishing hair. Lux Beaty Club is now offering 10% discount if you get in before the end of year!

hair extensions Lux Beauty Club


  1. Red Shoe Movement

Buy any of the products featured on the Red Show Movement site and you will be on your way to a fantastic journey of empowerment and networking. From books to webinars to charms and more, the Red Shoe Movement is a powerful opportunity to make your career dreams a reality in corporate and in business.

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

Showing support for #RedShoeTuesday Red Shoe Movement event


gourmet popcorn Carmen Milagros Torres




  1. The Popcornerie

Why do people love popcorn? Carmen Milagros Torres grasped the childhood tastes and smells of our childhood to remind everyone that popcorn is a commodity no matter our age. Tampa Bay’s The Porcornerie takes your order by phone or online so don’t wait to visit their site!



  1. LuMesh Lip Gloss

The only lip gloss you will ever need! It takes care of your winter lips and hydrate the thirsty summer kisses! LuMesh lip gloss is a permanent solution to regular and bothersome touchups and in a great variety of shades that interact with every skin tone. Buy it as a gift or for yourself!

LuMesh lip gloss


Chef Amalia's first book received nine national and regional awards.

Chef Amalia’s first book received nine national and regional awards.



  1. Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair

Internationally known as a socially responsible innovative entrepreneur, chef and philanthropist, Amalia Moreno-Damgaard has dedicated a great part of her life to becoming a healthy gourmet chef, author and speaker and has received numerous awards and international recognitions. A great gift for those with Guatemalan cuisine nostalgia or just those who love to try new recipes!



  1. Empanada Fork
Hipatia Lopez with Empanada Fork, best Holiday gifts

Hipatia Lopez with her invention Empanada Fork



We could not end our 2017 Holiday Gifts list without our Empanada Fork, the creation of inventor Hipatia Lopez who was last year winner of Project American Dreams at the Home Shopping Network. Hipatia is one of very few Latina entrepreneurs in the USA with a patented invention. She has dedicated her life to promote Latino culture and encourage other Latinas to create and innovate.


So make your selections and support our work of love by helping any of these Latina entrepreneurs by finding your best Holiday gift!

pitch competition

Hipatia Lopez winner of 2016 Pitch Competition invites you to Be a Star for One Night!

Pitch Competition is here! This is an INVITATION to all Latina entrepreneurs and small biz owners that live or do businesses in the Northeast region (New Jersey, New York, Southern Connecticut and Eastern Pennsylvania and Philadelphia).


Yes, we are now on full speed for our 2017 Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch your Biz Competition!  We invite all Latinas with products, services or a cause to be part of this fabulous event to take place at the Campus Center Atrium of NJIT (150 Bleeker St) in Newark NJ 07102 on NOVEMBER 9, 2017 from 4:00 to 9:0 pm.

Watch Hipatia Lopez, inventor of the Empanada Fork and winner of our 2016 Pitch your Business Competition invite you to be part of this important event!

What you need to know about the Pitch Competition:

1 . Pitch Competition: Ten (10) participants will have the opportunity to present a 3-minute pitch to a Panel of Media Jurors. (ONLY 6 places left! ) *

The Media Jurors will choose the best story to be promoted on all participating media including:

  • Univision 41 (Tri-state area)
  • Abasto Magazine (national)
  • Latin Trends (New Jersey / New York)
  • Latino Magazine and La Razon Newspaper (Eastern Pennsylvania)
  • Omnikal (national)
  • Vivala. com (national)
  • Latino Motion (Southern NJ and Philadelphia)
  • Social Vibes Media (Tristate)
  • Americano Newspaper (New Jersey/Pennsylvania)

2. You will have the opportunity to win:

  • $1000 Cash Price (first place)
  • Gifts for all participants
  • Free promotion on media and social media
  • An opportunity to work with a matching sponsor
  • An opportunity to run a crowdfunding campaign to fund your business
  • An Exhibitor’s Table to sell your products to all expected attendees (300 to 500)
  • and much, much more!

3. You will have the option to prepare your pitch with a Business and Public Speaking Coach (optional and at extra cost)

4. A VIP Reception with all Sponsors and Supporters of the event, Media Panel and photo/video opportunities.

So don’t wait! Register NOW for the opportunity of your lifetime!

Latina Pitch and Exhibitor Table: $150 (You will receive 15 tickets ($10/each) to sell to your friends and family)

Latina Table only: $100  (You will receive 10 tickets ($10/each) to sell to your friends and family)


So far, we have the support of the following organizations:

  • New Jersey Institute of Technology Enterprise Development Center (EDC) -an umbrella for 20 business organizations
  • Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
  • Newark Community Economic Development Corporation and Office of Newark’s Mayor
  • NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)
  • UCEDC New Jersey
  • IFundWomen (crowfunding)
  • Rising Tide Capital
  • Feria de Negocios Hispanos de Central New Jersey
  • Starfish Global
  • NYC LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce
  • Hispanic Leadership Association
  • Red Shoe Movement
  • Multiple regional chambers and organizations

We expect 40 to 50 vendors and exhibitors so don’t delay, as tables are selling fast!

We invite you to participate in this very unique event! Non-Hispanic vendors welcome!

*Only Latina businesses can participate at the Pitch Competition.


Thanks to all our Supporters and Sponsors!

Pitch Competition


Social media and empanadas at Feria de Negocios Hispanos de New Jersey

Two successful Hispanic entrepreneurs who built their business around empanadas and social media will relate their stories as keynote speakers at the Feria de Negocios Hispanos de New Jersey this coming Tuesday July 18 at the Pines Manor in Edison New Jersey.


So what is an empanada? According to Carlos Serrano, “Empanada Guy,” the delicious shaped half-moon empanadas are fried or baked turnovers stuffed with meat or veggies that adopt different shapes and names all over the world.

“Empanadas are thought to have originated in Galicia, Spain. However, you will find that they are made by different cultures and go by various names,” Carlos said. Some of the names are Meat Pies (American), Empanadas (Latin Spanish), Pastelillos (Latin/Spanish), Pastelitos (Latin/Spanish), Empanadillas (Latin/Spanish), and Beef Patties (Jamaica) or Pate (Haitian Creole)​, Pastel (Portuguese) or ​Pastel de Forno (Brazilian).


Empanadas |

Born and raised in Newark, NJ, and of Puerto Rican origin, Carlos began his empanada business in the garage of his house and now he manages a multimillion dollar company with nine food trucks, a restaurant and two mall shops. Although empanadas are the main theme in his menus, other tasty Caribbean and Latino dishes are offered at his locations.

Carlos signature empanadas like the lobster empanada, the pulled pork empanada or the sweet apple cinnamon empanada have made him the fastest-growing gourmet food truck company in the country. “I started six years ago with $40 in my pocket and became a national TV spoke person with a national campaign to make empanadas known in every corner of this country and beyond,” Carlos said to

Carlos believes there are no secrets to success in America. “It all depends on how bad you want it, how emotionally committed you are to your success,” he said. “You can’t have a sense of entitlement, if you work hard and overcome the obstacles there is a reward,” he shared.


Carlos Serrano, owner and founder, Empanada Guy

“We make a lot of excuses, and we don’t realize that sometimes dreams and fantasies are different things. Don’t blame your culture or your parents and quit negative people around you –my grandmother used to say ‘dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres,’ and she was right!”

His passion for cooking comes in part from his “Mama.” Carlos lived with his grandmother in Puerto Rico for some time when he was a teenager. “She was amazing in the kitchen. She did everything from scratch,” he said. “She taught me stability and work ethics, and to get up early, do your job, stop complaining, and do the right thing.”

His notoriety started in 2013, when he won Lifetime’s “Supermarket Superstar,” and was invited to participate in the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay.”

Carlos success has also been the result of his active social media engagement, and a great connection with his customers. He started in MySpace many years ago and now has 19K followers on his Facebook page.

Tired of making empanadas, Hipatia Lopez revolutionized the empanada world

The story for Hipatia Lopez, one of the 0.3 percent Latina inventors in the country, started on the day before Christmas. “My family and I were making over 100 empanadas for the family gathering and my hands were getting tired of making the repulgue,” she said –the border to seal the empanada so the stuffing does not get loose in the frying process.


Hipatia Lopez, inventor of the Empanada Fork


Hipatia thought, “There must be a better way to do this.” Well, there was and Hipatia designed and launched a kitchen utensil known now as the “empanada fork” that allows you to make empanadas at a light speed.

Long story short, Hipatia won last year the national contest for Project American Dreams, a national initiative by Latina entrepreneur Lili Gil Valetta and Home Shopping Network (HSN) sponsored by USBank. After several awards and recognitions for her tool, Hipatia was on her way to showing her invention to 90 million homes in the USA!

“I show up in every occasion to promote my tool; I do contests, accelerators, competitions, any opportunity to get out there and talk about my product,” she said. “Most small startups are afraid of showing up or networking but that is the only and best way to get your product known,” she shared.


Hipatia Lopez at Project American Dreams

Hipatia is also an active social media influencer in several platforms where you can follow her under “@empanadafork.” She is now determined to encourage other women become patented inventors. “There is a very small number of Latina inventors and probably not because of lack of ideas but mostly because they do not know how to handle the patent process. I will be happy to talk to anyone who contacts me on social media to help them achieve their dreams,” she said.

Carlos Serrano and Hipatia Lopez will share how they became successful business owners, empanadastheir struggles and their achievement on July 18 at he Feria de Negocios Hispanos de New Jersey. Attendance is free but you must register here.

Four Latina entrepreneurs featured on semifinalists in HSN competition

Four* community members have been selected as semifinalists for the national HSN competition in partnership with Project American Dreams ( We are so proud for all their accomplishments!

(L to R) Frances Prado, Hipatia Lopez, Victoria Flores, Francesca Kennedy

(L to R) Frances Prado, Hipatia Lopez, Victoria Flores, Francesca Kennedy

Frances Prado (CA), founder and inventor of the bras organizer Hanging Secrets; Victoria Flores (NY), co-founder at LUX Beauty Club; Hipatia Lopez (NJ), creator of the Empanada Fork; and Francesca Kennedy, founder of Ix Style, a fashion brand based on Guatemalan designs will move to the next round of the business competition that aims at discovering, mentoring and fast-tracking product innovations created by Latino entrepreneurs on the shopping network HSN.

HSN competition

The selected entrepreneurs will participate in a hands-on program designed to introduce new products to the marketplace through a partnership between leading lifestyle retailer HSN, and award-winning entrepreneur and creator of Dreamers Ventures, Liliana “Lili” Gil Valletta.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our Latina entrepreneurs and excited about this well-deserved opportunity for their innovative products,” said Susana G Baumann, Founder and Editor-in-Chief. “In fact, Empanada Fork was the very first Latina entrepreneur we featured on platform when we launched a little over two years ago for Hispanic Heritage Month. Hanging Secrets was also selected as one of the featured products in July 2015,” she said.

Hipatia Lopez, winner of the 2016 Best Business Pitch that recently took place in West New York, recalls that in her earlier stages of founding her business H.L. Unico LLC DBA Empanada Fork she was going to NYC looking for Latina empowering networks, wishing there was one in New Jersey.

Hanging Secrets intimate apparel organizer closet

Hanging Secrets intimate apparel organizer

“To my surprise, I was so happy to have met Susana Baumann at a Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey event. I became part of the community in its early stages,” she said. “Sometimes, as an entrepreneur, we feel alone and on our own. We are afraid to ask for help! genuinely cares about its members and wants to see them achieve their goals. I was so happy to have won the #pitchyourbusiness competition two years in a row and I look forward to working with them more in the near future,” Hipatia said.

Frances Prado, CEO and Inventor of Hanging Secrets, also remembers contacting to promote her business. “In June of 2015, I reached out to Susana G. Baumann regarding the opportunity of being spotlighted in Susana supported my request and made it very easy to provide the content about my life as an inventor and my entrepreneur journey,” she said. “My article was published on July 2015. When I started reading the post, it made me cry. I had to stop and take a few breaths before I was able to continue reading it. Susana was able to convert my content into an amazing story that gushed empathy. When I shared the article to my peers and family, they all had the same reaction. Susana has a true gift in storytelling,” she stated.

The HSN competition next steps

HSN competition

Susana G Baumann (L) and Lili Gil Valetta at the 2016 Best Business Awards and Pitch your Business competition

At the HSN competition, judges reviewed and selected up to 20 products; five entrepreneurs will then win the opportunity to introduce their products to HSN viewers reaching 94 million households in the Spring of 2017.

“While Latinos represent 17% of the population and are starting more new businesses than the general population, they receive less access to opportunities and get less than 1% of all venture capital and angel funding,” said Lili Gil Valletta, co-founder of Dreamers Ventures. “This is why I assembled an alliance of leading experts, investors and mentors to fill the gap in access and opportunity for Latino entrepreneurs.” This network of experts will provide personalized coaching and resources to the selected finalists in preparation for their national launch. Various HSN celebrity partners will also provide their personal business tips to the contestants throughout the competition.

U.S. Bank supports Project American Dreams as a partner to educate, empower and offer access to capital for Hispanic business owners. Other celebrities and organizations involved in the project include best-selling author and “TV’s Billion Dollar Man” Bob Circosta, a pioneer of the multi-billion dollar live television shopping industry; and Access Latina, a media strategic partner, which offers capital resources, access to networks and mentoring for Latinas.

Here are their stories:

Empanada Fork makes a mark for Latina entrepreneur

Hanging Secrets Latina innovation for lingerie and intimate apparel

A Latina entrepreneur finds clean water in Guatemalan designs

Latina entrepreneur makes hair extensions’ glamour accessible to all


*Correction: in a previous version, the inclusion of Carmen Milagro from Borbon Skincare was a namesake. The selected finalist is Carmen Milagros Torres, creator of The Pop Cornerie.

Latina entrepreneurs

Latina entrepreneurs shine at Best Business Awards

Our Latina entrepreneurs Hipatia Lopez, Jennagloria Pacheco, Nelly Reyes, Maggie Mondragon Cassera, Lu Camarena Meshulam and Luvia Susana Salazar were the bright spot of the amazing Best Business Awards at Son Cubano in West New York.

Latina entrepreneurs

Despite pouring rain, 72 of the 104 registered guests showed up to support and cheer for our amazing Business Pitch competitors. Thanks to our Media Panel, Vicky Llerena, Social Vibes Media; Sylvia Jauregui, Jersey Bound Latino; Angel Vazquez Rivera, Univision Communications, and Lili Gil Valetta, Dreamers Ventures.

Thanks to our sponsors including Gold Sponsor Wells Fargo, Silver Sponsor Marketing Out the Box, Bronze Sponsors Herbalife Nutrition and Access Latina, and all our Supporters that shared this beautiful event with us!

Our friends at Son Cubano -gracias Eddy Duran- for your support to our Latina entrepreneurs! And many more events!

To our Awardees, Luis O De la Hoz, Cristina Abreu, Shop con Calma, Rosa M Mollo, and Carolina E Robles, thank you for your constant support and great exposure to our platform!

To all people who contributed to make this event a bright night: Marcela Zuchoviki, Trinidad de la Rosa, Wendy C Perez, our MC, Jason Furbert and Luciano Catelli, our techie guys, volunteers Juan Carlos Grajeda, Meej Chaparro-Traverso, Tula Alcocer and Adriana Penagos. Without you, our event would not have been this success!

Thanks to all for their support and participation!



Winner LIBizus 2015 Best Business Award announces the winners for 2015 Best Business Award

Winner LIBizus 2015 Best Business Award

Our first year of joy empowering Latinas to achieve their goals in business and the workplace had to come together by celebrating the accomplishments of our @LIBizus!

Here are the winners and finalists of our 2015 Best Business Award –by the number of Likes of their elevator pitch videos on our Facebook page:


Fortuna Alcocer-3

Fortuna Alcocer

Fortuna Alcocer, School of Prosperity “Shri Sama” LLC

Tula Alcocer, Fortuna for You, is a happy Latina who loves inspiring, guiding and empowering Latino entrepreneurs in both the United States and worldwide, to be prosperous and happy in the fulfillment of their purpose of life. She loves freedom. She believes, first, on the huge opportunity to make our lives what our own decision determines. As a proof, she lets her inner-self freely expresses through entrepreneurship.

She also believes that providing the proper knowledge and proper guidance can make a big difference in the lives of people who strive for prosperity and to have a happy life. Leadership is an expression of self-love, love to our descendants, to our community and to our nation, and when it manifests first in ourselves then it can manifest at home and finally in our outside world.

She has created School of Prosperity “Shri Sama” LLC and School Of Successful MLM Entrepreneurs “Guru” to contribute to the creation of new true leaders and successful entrepreneurs in the Latino community. She is a linguist, a Personal & a Master Business Neuro-Coach, International Speaker and a full time mom of Bridget and Cesar.






Adriana AcostaAdriana Acosta, Organo Gold

My goal is to share this great opportunity with those who are looking to have the financial freedom they want to do what they love and those looking for a different lifestyle. I also want to share the knowledge our great group of motivators are teaching us on a daily basis and have allowed me to grow personally. Now I know that God has given me the capacity and the wisdom to achieve whatever I want and that success lies on what I believe I am entitled to.

Organo Gold is a global network marketing company on a mission to spread the knowledge of Ganoderma to the entire world. The company’s vision is to help people improve their lives by reaching new levels of health, wealth, and balance through opportunity and products. In just five short years, this vision has inspired and helped millions around the world.


Google +:


Hipatia Lopez

Hipatia Lopez

Hipatia Lopez, Empanada Fork

Hipatia Lopez is the inventor of a kitchen utensil that works as a pastry press known as the “Empanada Fork.” It is call Empanada Fork because it makes “fork like” impressions on the dough to seal the edges.

Her “idea” began around the kitchen table during the holiday season when her family was making 100 empanadas. She remembers complaining about how long this last step was taking. Her product is now sold through online stores such as QVC, Uncommongoods, and Mexgrocer. It is also available in stores over at LEBRON Restaurant Equipment & Supplies in NYC and Kerekes Bakery & Restaurant Equipment in Brooklyn, NY.








Frances Prado

Frances Prado

Frances Prado, Hanging Secrets

Frances is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants that were once field workers and at one point as a child we were even homeless. Today, she is among the 7% of female inventors and the only .3% of Latinas that have ever been granted a patent in the United States. The inventor of Hanging Secrets, her new invention will revolutionize how women store their intimate apparel.

Hanging Secrets is about cause. They are committed to supporting organizations that assist breast cancer survivors and recently provided complete makeovers for 12 breast cancer survivors at our product launch in San Diego, CA. Hanging Secrets was then featured within Inventor Digest Magazine. Inventors Digest is a monthly magazine and website devoted to promoting professional inventors.


“Create your Dreams, Crave your Dreams, and Cultivate your Dreams” ~ Frances Prado






Dr. Isaura Gonzalez

Dr. Isaura Gonzalez

Dr. Isaura Gonzalez, Latina Mastermind

Dr. Gonzalez is the Founder and Creator of Latina Mastermind. She is dedicated to empowering Latinas by teaching them to stand in their own power and create more income in a less time. Dr. Gonzalez created the revolutionary Latina Mastermind Mobile app which is the FIRST and ONLY application intended to build Latina communities locally, nationally and internationally. Her mission establishes a global platform of Latinas by synergizing and collaborating in an effort to achieve more goals personally and professionally while advancing generational wealth for their families. Dr. González is a Licensed Clinical psychologist, speaker, consultant, educator, empowerment coach, and presenter. She has taught undergraduate and graduate students for the last 21 years.  Dr. Gonzalez has contributed to several news, print and online media including being a guest speaker on National Public Radio (NPR) and is listed as a WMC SheSource expert. 8 Likes



Liz Chang

Liz Chang

Liz Chang, Pretty Mama Breastfeeding

Pretty Mama Breastfeeding is a completely unique brand offering bilingual English & Spanish lactation services and maternity/breastfeeding products, all in one location. Their in-home and online lactation counseling sessions are easily scheduled through their site. Their Lactation Professionals are ready to assist and guide you with any and all of your breastfeeding questions. They offer shopping in brand name apparel selection and unique gifts and accessories for both mom and baby! 5 Likes




Marisela Cigliuti

Marisela Cigliuti

Marisela Cigliuti, TeleNurse Network

Recognizing a deficit in specialty providers, Marisela decided to create TeleNurse Network with the goal of connecting patients to nursing services and reducing barriers to care. She was able to blend her healthcare and clinical nursing experience while addressing the challenges in today’s healthcare environment. “My passion for nursing has always been a central driver in my life,” said Marisela. “I look forward to advancing the nursing profession with the use of technology to help improve the care we deliver to patients while decreasing healthcare costs.”

Mariela spent over 15 years in hospitals including Hackensack University Medical Center Health System, Mount Sinai Health System, and Hospital for Special Surgery. Her experience includes Stroke/Neurology, Endoscopy, Operating Room, Quality Management, and Same Day Surgery. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Health Care Management and B.S. Nursing from St. Peter’s University.


Periscope: @TeleNurse_Net






Congratulations to all participants and we are also announcing the 2015 Best Business Awards ceremony tomorrow at the SHCCNJ 25th Annual Convention and Expo. Don’t miss it, be there!

Hipatia Lopez partipates at 2015 SBM Summit

Empanada Fork selected to the Small Business Leadership Summit in D.C.

Hipatia Lopez, inventor of Empanada Fork, participates at 2015 SBM Summit

Hipatia Lopez, inventor of Empanada Fork, participates at 2015 Small Business Majority Summit

Hipatia Lopez, founder and owner of HL Unico LLC and inventor of the ethnic kitchen tool Empanada Fork, was selected as one of 100+ small business leaders from across the country to meet with policymakers, issue experts and senior members of the Obama Administration. The focus of the summit involved identifying policies to help small businesses thrive at the Small Business Majority’s inaugural Small Business Leadership Summit.

“I traveled to Washington D.C. to talk with policymakers and senior members of the Obama Administration about the top barriers to success entrepreneurs and small business owners face, and identify practical solutions to our everyday problems. The experience was extraordinary,” Hipatia shared with LIBizus.

Panel discussions, keynote speeches, interactive workshops and presentations featured top policymakers at the National Press Club and the White House. Small business leaders heard from Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and top economic advisors to the President.

Maria Contreras Sweet at the Small Business Majority Summitt 2015

Maria Contreras Sweet at the Small Business Majority Summitt 2015

“As an active member of the New Jersey small business community, I was honored to be selected to attend the three-day Small Business Leadership Summit, hosted by Small Business Majority,” Hipatia said. “Some of the issues we discussed were related to the gap between Internet-based companies and small “mortar and brick” business owners who feel they are getting the short end of the stick in tax issues,” she shared.

Other interactive areas of discussion focused on key issue such as problems accessing capital, tax and economic policies, crowdfunding, women’s entrepreneurship, minority entrepreneurship, the freelance/microenterprise economy, technology and workforce issues.

“We heard from the head of the Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet and several members of Congress, and spoke with top economic advisors to the President to help them understand how important small businesses are to boosting the economy and creating jobs,” Hipatia said.

Policies identified during the three-day event will be incorporated into Small Business Majority’s policy platform—the Small Business Economic Agenda for 2015-16—and shared with decision makers to elevate issues of importance to small business owners.

Businesswoman of the Year Hipatia Lopez, H.L. Unico LLC

2014 Businesswoman of the Year Hipatia Lopez, H.L. Unico LLC, SHCC of NJ

Hipatia Lopez, the inventor of the “Empanada Fork,” an ethnic kitchen utensil that works as a pastry press, started her business around the kitchen table during the holiday season when her family was making 100 empanadas. “I remember complaining about how long this last step was taking.  I literally could not get this ‘idea’ out of my mind, envisioning how it would look,” she shared.

As many startups and small businesses, Empanada Fork encountered difficulties in obtaining access to capital, especially from traditional sources such as banks. “I obtained an equity line of credit with my house as collateral,” she said. However, now she needs additional funding to grow her business.

“During the three-day summit, progress was made, but more needs to be done. To instate policies we need to succeed—like greater access to capital and changes to the country’s tax code—we need more small business owners to speak out and get involved,” Hipatia said.

To voice your small business concerns, Hipatia encourages you to take Small Business Majority’s survey at:,

If you’d like to share your business story with LIBizus, please fill out this form and tell us about your business and products. We will post a FREE feature! (Certain restrictions apply. Limited time offer).

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Empanada Fork booth

Empanada Fork makes a mark for Latina entrepreneurs

Hipatia Lopez with Empanada Fork

Hipatia Lopez with Empanada Fork

By Hipatia Lopez

Hola, my name is Hipatia Lopez! I’m the inventor of a kitchen utensil that works as a pastry press known as the “Empanada Fork.”

Empanada Fork? Yes, because it makes “fork like” impressions on the dough to seal the edges. Fabulous!

My “idea” began around the kitchen table during the holiday season when my family and I were making 100 empanadas. I remember complaining about how long this last step was taking.   I literally could not get this “idea” out of my mind and envisioning how it would look. I found an architect who helped me with perfecting the drawings to make it come to life on paper. I decided to go forward and began the patent process, which took about one year for the approval.

Once I got my first shipment of the “Empanada Fork” utensil, I started contacting anybody that would listen to me. Of course I had some bumps in the road but once I got past my first rejection then I felt unstoppable!

I got contacted by a QVC broker who wanted to enter my product in an inventor’s contest. I was grateful to be part of that experience and having QVC as an avenue for my product was amazing to me. It has helped me a great deal, especially since I am a startup and have limited funds for advertising. I believe anything in life is attainable but you have to work for it.

My product is now sold through online stores such as QVC, Uncommongoods, and Mexgrocer. It is also available in stores over at LEBRON Restaurant Equipment & Supplies in NYC and Kerekes Bakery & Restaurant Equipment in Brooklyn, NY.Fork_dough_New

If you are thinking of starting your own business or would like to know more about the process of how I did it, I encourage you to contact me!

Also, if you’d like to carry my product in your business or use it for your business, you can request an order by visiting

Twitter: @Empanadafork

Facebook: Empanadaforkutensil


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