Uriel Malizia and Michelle Torres, owners of the Egg Harbor Township-based specialty catering company Empanada Mammas aren't just handy in the kitchen - they're also generous in their support of those less fortunate.
Since making their debut at Bayfest in Somers Point in April, the pair have set aside a portion of their proceeds for donation to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. On July 26, they presented the mission with a check worth $2,000.
Director of Men's Ministries Bill Warner, who accepted the check on behalf of the mission, said he was impressed with the women's gift.
"To be able to give that much money to us, is just wonderful," Warner said. "I mean, it just goes to show you the hearts that they have, not just in their business but for other people as well."
Malizia, who is the daughter of Rescue Mission CEO Dan Brown, has been volunteering there since she was a kid, and Torres, whom she has known since they were both 8 years old, often tagged along.
In addition to lending financial support through the donation, the pair has enlisted the help of mission residents through its work readiness program and brought them a catered lunch shortly before Bayfest.
"We think the Rescue Mission is an awesome organization, and we just wanted to do something different," Malizia said. "It's our goal to give back."
In addition to bringing the check, Torres and Malizia brought samples of their beef and chicken empanadas for the staff to try.
Warner, who is close friends with Brown and has known Malizia since she was a baby, has heard his colleague sing the Empanada Mammas' praises for months now. When he finally got to taste one, he knew why.
"He kept telling me, 'Wait till you taste these, wait till you taste these,'" Warner said. "He wasn't kidding - they're wonderful."
The Empanada Mammas will make their next appearance at the Atlantic City Seafood Festival at Bader Field on Sept. 14-15. In addition to festival appearances, they do private orders, with a minimum purchase of 15. Empanadas can be delivered both fresh-cooked and frozen.
For more information about Empanada Mammas, call 609-241-5566, find them on Facebook or visit empanadamammas.com.
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