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Pastaggio’s Journey from COVID Pivot to Italian Culinary Triumph

Meet Rebecca Lee Andersen and Daniel Jafarizadeh, the power couple behind Pastaggio. What started as a COVID adventure has now become a successful Italian caterer / artisanal pasta provider. In addition to handmade pasta, Pastaggio offers an extensive Italian menu for catering and wholesale, including housemade gelato, focaccia, and donuts. In this blog post, we're rolling out how Pastaggio came to be, the hurdles that were overcome, and the lessons learned along the way.

What's the origin story of Pastaggio? What inspired you to build your business?

Pastaggio was actually a COVID pivot founded in 2020 by life & business partners Rebecca Lee Andersen & Daniel Jafarizadeh. It was important to us to connect and  serve our community by providing fresh, comforting, restaurant-quality meals - in a time that was unpredictable and unprecedented. Dan has always had a love for Italian food and hand-making fresh pasta. 

“My fondest memory as a young boy was trying pasta and pizza for the first time in Italy on our way to Canada. I can still remember the way it made me feel, comforted with a wave of happiness in an uncertain and unfamiliar time.” 

Pastaggio is two names combined as our tribute to Italian food: pasta and homaggio, meaning homage in Italian.

Dan Pastaggio making pasta

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced growing your business? Can you share any advice for future food entrepreneurs?  

It's hard to pick just one, there are many challenges and hurdles in owning and growing a new business. The best advice we can give future entrepreneurs is to make sure your numbers are on point and don’t let the little things get you down or stress you out. Eventually you’ll look back and realize it wasn’t a big deal after all. 

If you are fortunate enough to hire staff – make sure you treat them well. Our staff is like family. We wouldn’t be here without them.

Why did you choose to work in a commissary kitchen? What are the top benefits?

We chose to start in a commissary kitchen because there was less risk and start up costs. Another benefit is the community. Being surrounded by other small business owners and local entrepreneurs with various culinary backgrounds, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge, different perspectives, and invaluable insights.  

What has growth looked like for you while operating in Coho’s kitchens?

In the three years (we just turned 3!) we’ve been in business, we’ve gone from one tiny table that we shared hourly with other businesses (when it was just the two of us) to the largest dedicated station in Coho. Our physical expansion in space has also been reflected in our operations, as we now operate 7 days a week with a great team who help us produce our Italian fare for restaurants, retail, and direct-to-consumer.

Pastaggio handmade pasta

What are your long-term business growth plans? 

We are diversifying our revenue streams. 

How do you define success?

We’ll let you know when we get there!

Would you recommend Coho to other food businesses? If so, why? 

For sure! Coho is a great place to start your business – the management team has done an excellent job making Coho East Georgia a great place to work. Not to mention, there are some really inspiring people who operate out of Coho that we are fortunate to work next to.

Pastaggio Team from behind

From squeezing onto a 5x10 station to claiming the biggest spot at Coho East Georgia, Rebecca and Daniel have seen it all. Success for Pastaggio isn't a fixed target, just like their evolving pasta recipes, improving with every batch.

If you’re feeling inspired, learn more about our 7 commissary kitchens in the Greater Vancouver area and Vancouver Island.


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