By Emily Crain
Now more than ever it is important to support new local immigrant businesses. Porteñas is just that, a new, hip local restaurant opening up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – owned and operated by immigrant women.
Carmen Ferreyra is now a Brooklyn local after immigrating to the United States 18 years ago. Longtime friend, Fernanda Tabares, is the co-founder and chef. Their Kickstarter campaign hopes to get funded to open their first restaurant in Williamsburg this Fall.
Their mission is to empower female immigrant workers. This is evident at all levels – their store manager Lucía Méndez is a Mexican immigrant who has lived in Brooklyn for 20 years. And they even will be hiring an all-female staff, including waitresses and bike delivery services.
The concept is community. And the food highlights two of South America’s “best-loved treats” – yerba mate, a coffee alternative that stimulates throughout the day, and empanadas.
Chef Fernanda has been making empanadas and other Argentine treats for over 20 years – and after decades of experience, she has been running her own restaurant, Raíces, in Buenos Aires.
Her partner, Carmen, is a true entrepreneur - she runs her own non-profit organization, Curatorial Program for Research, where they “create a socially-conscious network of emerging curators from around the world.”
The two together, along with their all-female, empowered immigrant staff are bringing a community-concept to Brooklyn at a time when we all need it – and you should back them.