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Lola’s and Ghost Kitchen Bringing Venezuelan Foods to U.S.

A popular purveyor of Venezuelan delicacies is bringing that country’s tasty treats to America through a licensing partnership with Ghost Kitchen Brands, a company offering what it calls “virtual food courts” inside Walmart stores and other locations.

Lola’s Latin Food is a true family enterprise that was founded in Toronto in 2017 by Venezuelan immigrants Mateo and Gabriela Maslov, who worked with other families in the Venezuelan community, producing and selling frozen empanadas, tequeños (cheese sticks), churros, and other Venezuelan and Latin American foods.

Lola’s primarily sold its wares through ethnic food outlets and a variety of food service companies, but in 2020, the company launched an ecommerce site and mobile app, and began selling Direct to Consumer in the Toronto area. Lola’s also now supplies 23 Ghost Kitchen Brands locations, which heat the products to order and offers them ready-to-eat for takeout or delivery.

“Because of the success of the first 23, we expanded the agreement to 100 locations in Canada and the U.S.,” Mateo Maslov, co-founder and general manager of Lola’s, told SFA News Daily.

Lola and Ghost Kitchen are now working to expand their reach through a recent deal with retail giant Walmart, where many of the new outlets will be opened.

Ghost Kitchen operates a unique hybrid business that allows customers to get takeout and delivery from 15 different restaurant and food brands at its various locations. For example, Ghost Kitchen offers partial menus from restaurant chains like Quiznos, but also offers soup from Campbell’s, beverages from Red Bull, and ice cream from Ben & Jerrys.

The company started its operation in Canada in retail outlets or freestanding locations, but has now entered the US market through its arrangement with Walmart. Ghost Kitchen’s delivery services are arranged through third-party services like DoorDash or Uber Eats.

While Ghost Kitchen represents several globally known brands, the company says Lola’s selection of Venezuelan delicacies has been one of the most popular brands at every Ghost Kitchen Brands location, said Maslov. In Canada, Lola’s was the top selling brand at its first Ghost Kitchen Brands location inside a Walmart.

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