An oven breaking down is an expensive household hassle for most, but for Rebeca Gigante’s parents, it was a sign they needed to take their business to the next level.
After always receiving compliments on her home cooking, Gigante’s mother Andrea Cacho began a side business out of their home.
“We got so popular in that short amount of the time that we did that…we got kind of full and hectic just doing it out of the house,” Gigante said. “Then, one day, the oven completely broke down.”
Gigante explained that her parents took the obstacle in stride, seeing it as a sign that they should open up an official restaurant location.
“It was kind of like a push in a way,” Gigante said.
That led Andrea and her husband, Leo Gigante, to open Del Campo Empanadas in May 2020. The restaurant specializes in empanadas, a style of pastry filled with different meats, cheeses or sweets that’s popular in the family’s original home of Argentina.
Gigante described how Del Campo Empanadas makes its namesake pastries with fresh, never frozen ingredients and hand-folds the dough each day, serving up flavors ranging from traditional Argentine-style beef to shrimp, caprese and even dessert variations.
Gigante said that the most popular flavors are the Banutella, a dessert empanada made with sliced bananas, Nutella, chocolate sauce and powdered sugar, and traditional Argentine-style beef filled with ground Angus beef, raisins, onions, red bell peppers, green olives, egg and Argentine spices.
While the traditional beef mixture is the most authentic the restaurant carries, according to Gigante, the inclusion of raisins is also a nod to her mother’s German descent.
She noted that the restaurant’s name is actually an homage to the home of Andrea’s grandmother, where she learned most of her cooking techniques.
Del Campo Empanadas’ first location in Fort Worth has close family ties of its own as it’s just a few blocks from their home, where the empanada business started. That led to the community quickly coming out in droves to support the new restaurant upon its opening.
“The first week, even with COVID and everything, we completely sold out,” Gigante said, adding that their entire community wanted to see the family’s new venture succeed even in the difficult pandemic environment.
After the family got their bearings as new restaurant owners, they soon realized that word had spread about the restaurant and many customers were driving up to an hour to enjoy their empanadas.
That eventually led to the family recently opening a second location in Flower Mound, with Gigante’s parents each heading up a restaurant.
Much like Del Campo Empanadas’ first location, Gigante said the Flower Mound restaurant initially had to close down early during its first week after completely selling out.
With that kind of popularity, brought about by authentic cooking techniques passed down through the generations, it’s no wonder that Gigante said that Del Campo Empanadas are “very proud family-ran and family-owned restaurants.”
Del Campo Empanadas is located at 10724 N Beach St, Fort Worth, TX 76244 and 901 Long Prairie Rd #160, Flower Mound, TX 75022. For more information about the restaurant, visit https://delcampoempanadas.com/.