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Big Pappy’s Empanadas sells out

Carly Busfield
The Valentin family stands proud in front of their new food truck, Big Pappy’s Empanadas, a current hot spot of Main Street.

Big Pappy’s Empanadas food truck is a late night sensation, especially among hungry students and those out late at night in the town. These chicken and beef pockets are devoured by the masses, and selling out faster every night.

The Puerto Rican inspired, bright green food truck is owned by life-long residents of twenty three years, William and Maria Valentin who arrived in March 2000. Their 20-year-old daughter, Reina Donley, is assisting her parents for the month until she returns to her husband in Colorado. The family is made up of the parents and four children, with two boys and two girls.

Maria and William Valentin stand in front of their daily menu, consisting of beef and chicken empanadas. (Carly Busfield)

Prior to the opening of the food truck, William Valentin spent his career within this landscaping company, William’s Lawn and Landscaping Services, for over the last ten years. Maria Valentin currently is the Human Resources Commissioner with the town hall in addition to holding an Appeals Coordinator position with Geisinger.

Selling out to the masses

“The truck opened about a month and a half ago”, said Maria Valentin. The family noticed a large amount of students coming each night. The late night eatery has sold out almost every night with an estimated six hundred or more people arriving within the three days they are open according to the family. They noted one customer had ordered ten empanadas to himself.

For now, they are open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays generally from 7 p.m. until around 3 a.m., but they are flexible depending on the day and size of the line. Friday is their busiest day “because everyone is going to the bar then”, said Reina Donley.

They park behind the Bloomsburg Diner to serve the local community. (Carly Busfield)

Donley continued, “It is not your normal food truck for around town. Lots of people are so excited because some have never had an empanada or either love them. Plus, we are open late at night as another option.” There is no distinction between whether the masses prefer chicken or beef as an even amount of people consume either option.

Future additions & plans

For now, as the truck gains more popularity and new additions are made in-town, the business owners plan to take over where Tri Pi Pizzeria was previously located as the pizza restaurant transition across the street. Then, they will expand their menu while utilizing the trailer for late nights and events.

The green food truck foods hungry students and other people late at night until around 3 a.m. (Carly Busfield)

The husband and wife duo plan to expand their menu as time passes and they manage to move into an actual building. “They are definitely going to add rice and beans with a choice of meat.”, shared Donley. The Valentins desire to add more authentic Puerto Rican food.

“There are options on the table for the future.”, noted Maria Valentin. Donley stormed up the idea of dessert inspired empanadas which the food truck tested out on Friday the 22nd.

Big Pappy’s Empanadas aspires to hire college students to join their staff, especially since most of their customers are students. Next spring, Maria Valentin plans to host a Hispanic heritage festival in the local park along with Geisinger and the Town Hall which is a big opportunity for Big Pappy’s Empanadas.

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Carly Busfield, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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    [email protected]Dec 14, 2023 at 12:23 PM

    Where are you today?