Cultivate Small Business


Melissa Stefanini


Melissa is a Miami native living in Boston with eight years of experience as a copywriter and brand builder. While living and working in Los Angeles, Melissa and Buenas co-founder Sebastian had a craving for the flavors they grew up eating and made a fateful batch of empanadas to share with co-workers. Over time, their food became the highlight of the work week, and a job opportunity in Boston became an opportunity to share South American-style empanadas in a place they figured there weren’t many. The daughter of a small business owner and no stranger to making decisions on the fly that others may caution against, Melissa convinced her new employers to make those empanadas available as a weekly in-office lunch option. The Boston empanada scene proved to have room for one more golden-baked voice and the pair has been wholesaling empanadas and other specialty products inspired by family recipes starting in early 2017.

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