Margarita Womack Named to Bethesda's Magazine 'Women Who Inspire'

Congratulations are in order for Margarita Womack, Union Kitchen Accelerator Member and founder and CEO of MasPanadas, for her well-deserved recognition in Bethesda's Magazine's prestigious "Women Who Inspire" list. Margarita's journey from a passionate culinary enthusiast to a celebrated entrepreneur is a testament to the power of dedication, innovation, and strategic planning. 

Margarita Womack, the founder of Maspanadas, has transformed her empanada business into a remarkable success story by leveraging the resources of the Union Kitchen Ecosystem. She worked with the Accelerator team to build a strategy, and mission for her brand, and launched a market ready product! The business, which began in 2020 with seven employees, is now set to achieve $8 million in revenue in 2023 and expand its facility significantly. Beyond business success, Womack is committed to providing jobs, training, and support to those in need, particularly immigrants and refugees. Her workforce comprises 90% immigrants, over 80% women, and about half are refugees, primarily from Central and South America. She offers wellness classes and instruction in digital and financial literacy to her employees, recognizing that newcomers to the country require more than just a paycheck.

Womack's journey from Colombia to the United States was motivated by safety concerns due to guerrilla threats in her home country. She completed her education in the U.S., earning a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University. After teaching middle school science for four years, she transitioned to entrepreneurship, starting a catering company that evolved into a frozen empanada manufacturing business. During the pandemic, she shifted her focus to retail sales, leading to significant growth.

Her scientific background equipped her with problem-solving skills that proved valuable in launching a consumer products line. Margarita states, "It’s all about problem solving…you generate a question and then have a working hypothesis". Margarita became a manufacturing expert in our shared kitchen, and later expanded to her own Rockville plant. Today, Maspanadas' empanadas are sold in over 2,000 stores across the country, including major chains like Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Stop & Shop, and Sprouts, as well as online through HelloFresh.

Margarita Womack's entrepreneurial journey showcases her determination, fearless attitude, and commitment to uplifting her community by providing opportunities to those in need, aligning with the values of supporting local businesses and fostering inclusive wealth and community development. She is a great example of the success that can be found by taking a phased approach to growth, and owning manufacturing!