Meet Melbourne International Student Alumni turned Street Food Entrepreneurs – Ignacio and Andrea!

They came from different sides of the world, but upon embarking on an MBA together at Monash University they became fast friends and subsequently business partners. Meet Andrea from Italy and Ignacio from Argentina!


Why Melbourne?

Andrea: I relocated here in 2010 due to my wife’s job.

Ignacio: I wanted to study in Australia, and the options were Sydney, Melbourne or Perth. I decided to study at Melbourne because I read it has an active cultural life, a multicultural society and great places to visit. In addition, I had a friend living here.


Would you recommend it as a place to study to people back home?

Andrea: Yes I would definitely recommend Melbourne as a great place where to live, study and work.

Ignacio: Definitely


Tell us about El Alamo Empanadas and how it came about?

Andrea: When we met at Monash University, Ignacio had just recently arrived from Buenos Aires and he was in search for a place to eat empanadas. He didn’t find any and he used to complain all the time. I didn’t even know empanadas back until Ignacio invited me over for dinner and cooked them.  Since then we started to think how we could open a place where everybody could enjoy this typical South American street food meal. That’s why we have created El Alamo; to bring the real South American street food experience here in Australia.

Ignacio: I really wanted to have empanadas and I was surprised that there wasn’t any place specialised in empanadas. After some trials, I reached a really good product so we decided to be part of the Latin American Festival on Nov 2013. During the festival we realised people loved them, so we kept going with the idea. We worked very hard on the idea and the brand, to offer our customers a whole Argentinian experience.

From April to September 2014 we started a pop up shop in Prahran and then moved to the Prahran Market between Bendigo Bank and the Market Square.


How about some Melbourne tips:

  • Best place for a cheap meal?

Andrea: El Alamo of course, 220 Commercial Rd, Prahran!

Ignacio: Schnitz and El Alamo (of course)

  • Best place to take visitors from your home country?

Andrea: Great Ocean Road.

Ignacio: Great Ocean Road

  • Best place to go out at night?

Andrea: Melbourne offer a wide range of events, festivals. Just have a look at the city agenda before going out.

Ignacio: I really love Naked for Satan in Fitzroy

  • Best area to live?

Andrea: Difficult question, I like so many places in Melbourne, probably for students I’d suggest St. Kilda.

Ignacio: Prahran

  • Any other tips for international students that have just arrived?

Andrea: Enjoy the city, no stress, plenty of time to worry about studying!

Ignacio: Whenever you can, especially during spring and summer, use your free days to visit other places in Victoria. Very close from Melbourne there are some awesome things to do.

  • Where have you gone exploring in Victoria?

Andrea: I’ve visited Philip Island, Great Ocean Road, Yarra Valley and Wilson Prom. They’re all great places. I enjoy them in different periods of the year. For example I like to go down to Philip Island when the Moto Grand Prix is on.

Ignacio: Yes, I went to the Great Ocean Rd, Phillip Island, Wilson Prom, Yarra Valley and Dandenong ranges. Amazing places and landscapes.


Finally, what is the best thing you’ve found in Melbourne?

Andrea: Melbourne is a great city, I’m very happy to live here. I think there is no great city without great people and opportunities.

Ignacio: Great business opportunities


Catch Ignacio and Andrea at El Alamo Empanadas, Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra!


Discussion — No responses