A loan of $10,000 helped meet our growing demand and to expand my business.


Paula's story

My name is Paula Tejeda, I am the sole proprietor of Chile Lindo. Chile Lindo is an empanada shop in the Mission district that serves as a cultural hub for the Mission district community and for people interested in Chile and South America.

I was born in New York City to Chilean parents and grew up between Chile and NYC. I first came to the San Francisco Bay Area during my teens, in the early 1980s. I studied production at Laney College in Oakland, and was accepted to San Francisco State University in the highly competitive media communications program. I completed two internships at this time, one at KTVU, Channel 2 and the second at KPIX, Channel 5. However, due to my perfectionist nature I did not feel worthy of my degree and abandoned my studies before graduating. I left California and went back to live in Chile from 1986 to 1988, and then back to New York City from ’88 to ’94. I returned to San Francisco in 1994.

I bought Chile Lindo in 1995. For five years it was a husband and wife team. In 2000 the marriage ended and I continued with the business alone. I took on a second job with the Pendergast Group to produce Mayor Willie Brown and Mark Leno’s small business summit. I was in charged of community outreach and bilingual media outreach.

In 2008 I finally completed by education from Mills College. I graduated from the Spanish and Spanish American Studies program with a 4.0 and with the departments top honor, El Premio Gabriela Mistral. I was awarded a scholarship from Mills while attending City College of San Francisco. I focussed on perfecting my writing skills in Spanish and English. To get my Bachelor’s degree I took a five year hiatus from Chile Lindo, between 2003 and 2008. During this period, although I did not have the empanada shop, I continued building the Chile Lindo brand through production work.

After graduating, I went back to reestablishing the Deli and Coffee Shop. In 2009 I joined the street food movement and became The Girl from Empanada. After running around the Mission district selling empanadas out of a basket for nearly a year, I raised enough capital to re-open my shop on 16th Street. In 2010 Chile Lindo Deli & Coffee Shop reopened, offering excellent coffee, espresso drinks, and gourmet empanadas.


This loan is special because:

It supports a vision that places food at the heart of cultural expression!



Loan details


About Chile Lindo

Industry: Food
Years in operation: More than 5 years
Website: chilelindo.com

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Loan details