Pastabilities awarded Microenterprise of the Year

Dan Roscioli, Pastabilities ownerA specialty food producer in Williston, Vt. is being recognized by the Small Business Administration.

Pastabilities, owned and founded by Dan & Nicole Roscioli, is named the 2018 Vermont Microenterprise of the Year.

“We are super excited to win VT Microenterprise of the Year. It’s a fantastic way to recognize all the hard-work and dedication our small team of employees has made over the years,” said Roscioli. “Winning this award is only possible because of our amazing customers and employees. A decade ago, we considered leaving Vermont to start Pastabilities in a more populated state, but now we can't imagine Pastabilities without the incredible support for local business that Vermont prides itself in.”

Pastabilities earned the award for employment growth, financial success and expansion. To be eligible for Microenterprise of the Year, the business must have five or fewer employees, including the owner. 

When he began this enterprise 10 years ago in May, Roscioli’s vison was to make fresh pasta for markets and restaurants, but as he visited more and more customers they continually asked if he could make them fresh pizza dough. Today, dough and pizza products are the bulk of his business.

“When I started out I had no idea there would be such a high demand for fresh pizza and pizza dough. We’ve gotten really good at it. So much in fact, a few of my previous employees have gone on to be head pizza chefs at local restaurants. It makes you proud because you know you taught them well and they are moving on professionally,” he said.

According to Roscioli, Pastabilities is the largest pizza dough maker in the state offering nine different varieties of dough. Every dough ball is still hand cut and rolled. The business sells its dough and pizza primarily to restaurants, schools and markets.

The company boasts the pizzas are never frozen, it only uses fresh ingredients and the majority of the ingredients are locally sourced. An avid gardener, some of the ingredients like basil are grown in Roscioli’s back yard.

“We try to use as many local ingredients as we can. Obviously there is no local resource for ingredients such as salt, but if it’s available locally we’re buying it locally,” he said.  “Our products contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives. We model our recipes as they would have been made 100 years ago.”

He grew up in a large family business, Rom’s Restaurant, in Sturbridge, Mass. Like Pastabilities it too was a microenterprise when it began as a roadside stand 70 years ago and grew to seat 700.

Although he had little desire to work in a traditional restaurant, the background has served the company well.  Many of his recipes have been passed along from his great grandmother, to Rom's Restaurant, and now to Pastabilities. Roscioli adds the phrase "eat like your grandparents did" really resonates.

"We are keeping a slice of those simpler times, with the clean simple ingredient lists, alive and well." While pizza products are now the majority of the business, Pastabilities still produces a line of fine pastas. "We've been told we are the only commercial gnocchi maker in the U.S. that still uses real potatoes. We don't want that to change."

Additionally, some of the pasta equipment at Pastabilities originated in mid-1900's Italy. 

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