Inspired by her mother’s cooking, La Campana owner Kasia Hernandez is bringing traditional home cooking to Walden.
“I just want everybody to enjoy my food; I’m putting a lot of love into it,” Hernandez said.
Opened in December, the restaurant serves Latin and Caribbean dishes, including popular dishes from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Some customers enjoy finding foods they experienced while on vacation, such as mofongos, churrasco, chuletas fritas, jerk chicken and more.
Hernandez said she wants her food to harken back to her mother’s generation, when families would make fresh, home-cooked meals. However, her generation and her son’s generation doesn’t always have time to cook and prefers take-out. Her recipes are partly inspired by her mother’s home cooking.
“We have my mother’s generation where we have home-cooked meals. But, then you have my generation or my son’s, where it’s more take-out food. So, you kind of lose that home feeling of home-cooked meals,” Hernandez said. “That’s what I wanted to provide for the working class, that if you’re not coming home to a home-cooked meal, you can still pick up something here, and it will still feel like a home-cooked meal.”
Hernandez said her favorite part of the restaurant business is meeting people from all walks of life and learning about their experiences.
“You learn a little bit from everyone,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez was a bartender in college and spent time in an accounting firm for a few years. When she realized it wasn’t for her, she took time off to open a daycare. When that was unsuccessful, her friend told her about a job at a restaurant. She did everything, from bookkeeping to hosting to bartending to waitressing.
She realized her love for restaurants and decided to open her own with her friend. They eventually found the restaurant in Walden. She has found the community to be very supportive and appreciates residents’ support.
“We saw the town, and we fell in love with it,” Hernandez said.
Restaurants are in her blood. Her father owned a restaurant, as well as her aunt and cousins. Her earliest memories of the restaurant are standing behind the counter to greet customers.
“You have to work at something you’re passionate about,” Hernandez said. “I love food; I love meeting people. I love to see people happy.”
La Campana is located at 81 E Main Street, and is open Sunday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. To learn more, visit lacampanawalden.com or call 845-713-5028.