Since its start in 1989, Nuovo Pasta Productions Ltd. has grown from a small storefront operation to a corporation that serves clients all over the world. But in that time, the firm has always maintained its focus on quality, Vice President of Operations Tom Quinn says.
“I think that’s really driven the success of the company,” he says. “We’ve taken our years of experience in the foodservice world and really created a restaurant experience at home for people.”
The Stratford, Conn.-based company produces pasta, artisan shapes, pesto and sauces that are sold by retailers and used by restaurants worldwide. President and owner Carl Zuanelli started the company in 1989 with a “love and passion for food,” Quinn says.
Today, the company produces more than 100 items that are shipped to clients as far away as the Caribbean and Mexico. Nuovo Pasta manufactures its products in a facility that marries handmade fillings with custom-made, Italian pasta-making equipment, allowing it to replicate traditional methods of making smooth, firm pasta.
The Right Mix
Some of Nuovo Pasta’s newest products, Quinn notes, include its portabella and fontina ravioli and its spinach, mushroom and gruyere ravioli, the latter of which won Fancy Food awards from the National Association of Specialty Food Trade. “That’s one of the keys to our successes: mixing unique ingredients with interesting cheeses,” he says.
“I think the consumers, over the last five [years] have become much more aware of different types of cheeses,” he continues. “If you go through a normal supermarket case, the wide expanse of different cheeses now is much broader compared to 10 years ago.”
Many supermarkets, Quinn notes, will place Nuovo Pasta’s products in the specialty deli section. “[They will place it] close to the gourmet cheese case, so people can make that natural connection,” he says.
Quinn joined Nuovo Pasta in January 2004. Previously, he worked for a major food manufacturer based in New Jersey and held a role at another firm as a food broker.
“I started out stocking shelves [in] a [grocery store],” he recalls. “I have retail in my blood.”
Quinn praises the team he has at Nuovo Pasta. “It really is a great collection of individuals,” Quinn says, calling them a talented ensemble of people “who love food.”
A challenge that Nuovo Pasta must cope with is its ever-changing landscape. Companies like Nuovo Pasta must constantly make sure they provide quality products that the consumers want to buy over and over again, according to Quinn.
The firm manages to do this by identifying and capitalizing on new food trends. “I think that’s the biggest adjustment that you have to make in this industry,” he adds.
Quinn sees a strong future for Nuovo Pasta. “We’re very upbeat and positive about the future mainly because restaurants and chefs are constantly creating new and exciting flavor combinations that will give us the opportunity to create new ravioli and pasta products,” he says.