Over the past 6 months we’ve been busy re-vamping our logo, changing our packaging, nailing down 12 varieties of ravioli, finding a new ravioli machine, creating a new website and…. well, obviously not blogging. I was actually a bit mortified when I clicked on the blog tab on our brand spankin’ new website to find our last post, “Hingham Holiday Market.” Oops! So clearly it’s a bit late for six month’s worth of posts, so instead we’ll run through a cliff’s notes version of our winter…
First, as everyone is well aware (because we would tell anyone who would listen), our search for the ravioli machine… After our big DailyCandy win, the sometimes-working-but-more-often-not ravioli machine would just no longer do. So off to PA we went to visit Arcobaleno, an Italian pasta machine distributor that offers training on the actual machines you buy before you purchase them. Not a bad idea huh? So after making sure we found the one, we welcomed our new baby, affectionately nick-named “Mama Nella,” to CropCircle Kitchen.
Never afraid of a challenge, our first order filled using the new machine was not 1 lb, not 10, but 400 lbs of Roasted Local Winter Squash Ravioli for the Brookline Public Schools served during their “Climate Week,” teaching students how food choices affect the environment. What an amazing way to break in the new machine while helping a very worthy cause!
Ok, machine- check! But put beautiful new ravioli in the same ‘ol packing? No way! Back to the drawing board to come up with a new way to showcase our products now that we’re ready to sell wholesale. Not only does the packaging have to pass the easily recycled test, but it also has to embody Nella as a brand and stand out on a shelf. After months of planning, proof-reading, and playing with design ideas, we unveiled Nella’s New ‘Do…
So speaking of streamlining our packaging, now might be the time to explain our new menu. In the past, we’ve made a different variety of ravioli (not to mention a handful of other pasta shapes) each and everyday. While we loved the variety, flexibility and creativity that went into changing up our varieties, labeling logistics were a disaster. Also, we had many customers asking for previous varieties that they tried and loved and we never brought them back. Well we think we’ve come up with the perfect solution: narrowing our menu down to 12 varieties (5 fall/ winter, 7 spring/summer) based on customer favorites over the last 2 years. Everyone wins!
With all this beautiful packaging and the capacity to make a ton of ravioli, where, you may ask, can you find it?? Over the winter we have been participating in the Milton Farmer’s Market at Thayer Nursery every Sunday and the Plymouth Winter Farmer’s Market at the Historic Plimoth Plantation every second Thursday of the month.
Also, we are finally selling wholesale to local grocers and specialty stores! Our list is constantly growing, but you can currently find Nella Pasta at the South End Formaggio, Hingham Fruit Center, Sherman Market, City Feed & Supply, and Allandale Farm. Later this week we’ll also be expanding to the Milton Fruit Center and Wasik’s Cheese Shop. If you have a favorite shop that you don’t see listed here, please let us know (better yet, ask the store manager for it!). Look out for free tasting at the stores mentioned above, we have at least 1-3 tastings a week– we’ll be at Wasik’s Cheese Shop tomorrow from 11-2!
Lastly, we now have a new, comprehensive website (that’s just about finished) where you can find just about anything you’d ever want to know about Nella Pasta. Take a look around, learn a bit more about how we got started, what we’ve been up to over the past two years, where we operate and lots more. Feel free to send along your feedback– we’d love to hear it!
So we may have missed a thing or two (MA winter are long), but that’s a brief synopsis of what we’ve been up to while hibernating from the blog all winter long! We’re so thrilled to be up and running in markets and stores and can’t wait to expand ten-fold come the start of the farmer’s market season. Hope you all have had a great winter and stay tuned for our list of farmers markets for the 2011 season!
-L & R