September 25, 2023

🔒 Made in Milwaukee: Lumpia Metropolis is Milwaukee’s gateway to Filipino meals

Milwaukee-based Lumpia Metropolis began out as a humble pop-up stand pulled from a storage. Over the previous seven years, the corporate has grown to change into a widely known title in Milwaukee, working a concession stand at Fiserv Discussion board and promoting its merchandise at 23 places. 

Lumpia Metropolis founders Samantha Klimaszewski and Alexa Reyes have been simply 22 years outdated after they started providing their tackle Filipino meals to the plenty in the summertime of 2015. 

Reyes, a California native, met Klimaszewski by likelihood after she took a spur of the second highway journey to San Diego. Klimaszewski determined to make the transfer from Wisconsin to San Diego after the couple made an plain connection. They deepened their bond via a shared historical past of entrepreneurship in each their households. 

When discussing attainable enterprise ventures to embark on collectively, Reyes introduced up lumpia, a standard Filipino meals just like an egg roll. Conventional types of lumpia are sometimes made with floor pork and blended greens. 

“Being from Wisconsin, I form of requested if she’d ever used mac and cheese in one thing like this,” stated Klimaszewski. “My Wisconsin mind went to that. From that little dialog, we began going to farmers markets in San Diego.”

The couple started making what they may on a weekly foundation inside a shared kitchen house in San Diego. However a push from farmers market organizers to have distributors function out of meals vans – together with the excessive price of residing in California – led the duo to maneuver again to Milwaukee in 2016.

“We have been right here visiting, and we noticed the meals truck business was beginning to take off,” Klimaszewski stated. 

Quickly, Lumpia Metropolis’s concession trailer started popping up at Milwaukee road festivals. Klimaszewski and Reyes additionally focused microbreweries as a cheap strategy to achieve publicity. 

From the corporate’s shared kitchen house on North Jefferson Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, Lumpia Metropolis is now producing roughly 8,000 to 10,000 models a month. Each bit of lumpia is rolled by hand. 

Previous to the shared kitchen house downtown, the Lumpia Metropolis crew was understanding of the now-shuttered Iron Grate BBQ Co. on South Howell Avenue on days the restaurant was closed.

Lumpia Metropolis affords quite a lot of flavors together with Korean beef, five-cheese mac, rooster enchilada and reuben. 

“Rising up, my household would experiment with totally different flavors like Mexican-style flavors and Italian. As a result of lumpia is pretty unknown, placing acquainted flavors into this product is, I believe, what will get folks to return and check out it,” stated Reyes. “Then they’ll hopefully exit and search conventional Filipino meals.”

Lumpia Metropolis merchandise are at the moment present in all full-service Sendik’s Meals Market shops and at Pageant Meals places in West Allis, Greenfield and Hales Corners. That’s along with Lumpia Metropolis’s concession stand at Fiserv Discussion board, which is run with the assistance of enviornment employees. 

The couple credit Fiserv Discussion board’s former government chef Kristen Schwab with getting them in entrance of the sector’s hospitality group. After seeing the product, Schwab beneficial Lumpia Metropolis as a attainable vendor for the sector. 

Klimaszewski and Reyes are at the moment on the lookout for their very own constructing and need to put money into their very own gear to assist automate their meat processing procedures.

Lumpia Metropolis was awarded a $120,000 Meat and Poultry Provide Chain Resiliency Grant (a state program funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act) final fall, which can assist with the price of new gear. 

“It’s like a complete new ballgame we’re coming into from being a small vendor to being a wholesale firm, and that’s the place we’re realizing you need to take child steps via this as a result of there’s a lot concerned,” Klimaszewski stated. “I don’t assume this could be a dialog if we didn’t get that grant.”

Securing a brand new kitchen house is Lumpia Metropolis’s greatest aim for the yr, together with increasing into different Midwest markets.

Lumpia Metropolis
770 N. Jefferson St., Milwaukee
INDUSTRY: Meals manufacturing
EMPLOYEES: Two full-time, three part-time