Photograph by Luciana Calvin Photography.
Using all-natural ingredients, Del Sur creates healthy, flavorful food for families to easily bake at home. Del Sur currently offers delicious empanadas that have gained immense popularity at local farmers’ markets and can be ordered frozen and prepared at home. Owner Sebastian Corbat also partners with retailers and cafes where folks can purchase Del Sur empanadas any day of the week. Sebastian is now working to expand Del Sur’s mission and vision to other food products.
“We’re offering something that is healthy, easy to bake, and fun to eat. So, families can enjoy a meal at the table and don’t have to worry about needing more time to cook something,” says Sebastian.
From Del Sur’s main kitchen in Lowell, MA, Sebastian creates empanadas with amazing South American flavors. All empanadas are sourced with natural ingredients and use 100% organic, grass-fed beef from a Massachusetts farm. Styles also include vegetarian and vegan options, such as the “Sweet Me” (with caramelized onions and goat cheese) and “Bolivian Peas” (with a base of sofrito made with poblano peppers, garbanzo beans, and corn). Customers can order bags of frozen dough and frozen empanadas online (ranging from quantities of six to one-hundred) for local delivery. Customers can also buy Del Sur empanadas directly from retailers in Winchester, Lexington, and Boston, Massachusetts.
Sebastian initially launched his business out of a brick and mortar cafe in 2015. In its second year in business, Sebastian decided to start selling his product at local markets (as both ready-to-eat and frozen meals) to increase sales. When customers got a taste of Del Sur’s empanadas in their own communities, its popularity soared. Sebastian learned where and how to meet his ideal customers, and decided to pursue the farmers’ markets fulltime and close the cafe.
“After a few years, we can say that we made the right decision to close the cafe. But in the moment, it was very hard to give up the investment and love we put into the place,” he says.
Sebastian now rents a commercial kitchen for preparing and storing Del Sur’s products. In addition to participating in multiple farmers’ markets during the high season from June to October, Del Sur is participating in some indoor winter markets. Folks can pre-order online and pick up their orders for easy, healthy meals at home. Del Sur’s January 2021 farmers market calendar is available online.
This year, Covid-19 affected the markets in Sebastian’s regular schedule, but Del Sur remained successful. In the early spring, Del Sur and other vendors at the Lexington farmers’ market decided to sell their products outdoors to keep their customers safe. Del Sur sold frozen empanadas that customers happily picked up in the wintry weather and baked safely at home. That day, Del Sur made a historic record in sales.
Sebastian began Del Sur after he moved to the U.S. from Argentina. He had built and operated his own software development company (and simultaneously earned an M.B.A.) and sought a career change. With a fresh start in Massachusetts and years of entrepreneurial experience under his belt, he launched Del Sur. Some of his tech skills also came in handy and enabled him to build and manage Del Sur’s online store.
The most rewarding part of Sebastian’s work has been building a stable business with the support of his family and friends. To keep growing his business, Sebastian intends to hire more employees and stabilize his sales year-round.
Sebastian joined an eforever group in Lowell, MA during the height of the summer farmers’ market season. For Sebastian, meeting with his peer group every month opens the space to think about how he is running his business.
“Before a meeting, I would think, ‘I have too much work today and I don’t have any specific issue to talk about. Okay, let’s go anyway.’ And by the end of the meeting, I feel more relaxed. Somethings just pop up, and I have something to talk about that I didn’t realize before. My peers are very helpful and it feels good to offer help to our peers through our own experience. It feels like we’re doing something meaningful.”Sebastian Corbat, eforever member.
Folks can order Del Sur empanadas online at delsur.com. And, follow Del Sur on social media for farmers’ markets and business highlights.