Tours of Tuscany

Tours of Tuscany
Join this small group tour and immerse yourself in the current of sensation for a week of food, wine and culture in Tuscany.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Angelo’s Fresh Pasta Products Turns Forty!

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2008 marks the 40th birthday of one of Brisbane’s best-loved Italian family businesses, Angelo’s Fresh Pasta Products. Angelo Cazzolato first started hand-making pasta under his house at New Farm in 1968. Since then, the business has steadily grown to become Queensland’s largest award-winning pasta producer.
Born in Northern Italy, Angelo was nineteen when he immigrated to Australia in 1952.

He started out finding seasonal work—picking pears in Shepparton and grapes in Griffith, and cutting cane in Bundaberg. He planted pine trees in Gympie, made tyres for Dunlop in Melbourne, and then, after driving trucks for Transfield in Kuranda, took over as their cook and stayed on, cooking for the camp of workers for the next two years. Whilst working on the Snowy Mountain Project in 1963, he received a medal for setting a world record in tunnel drilling – 552 feet in one week!

After marrying Val in 1964, Angelo took her to Italy to meet his mother. In Italy, they saw a little shop selling fresh pasta and inspiration struck. In 1965, they bought two small pasta machines that they brought back with them on the boat to Australia, with their first baby on the way.

For the next few years, Angelo ran a restaurant in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley and used the two small pasta machines to make fresh pasta that he would serve on the daily menu. After the restaurant was sold, Angelo worked as a cook for Transfield at Swanbank for a few months before he started working full-time, making pasta under his house in New Farm. In 1968, Angelo’s Fresh Pasta Products was born.

From day one, the business was a success: after he delivered his first batch of fettuccine to Sala’s delicatessen, the product was so popular it sold out that very morning. In fact, Angelo was so busy making pasta that he didn’t have time to pack it. Delicatessen owners used to visit his home to weigh and pack their own fettuccine to take to sell in their shops.

Angelo moved the manufacturing operation to a factory in Wandoo Street, Fortitude Valley in 1975 and again, his first batch of pizza bases sold out within an hour at the local fruit shop. The business continued to grow and in 1992, Angelo moved Angelo’s Fresh Pasta Products around the corner to their current site on Doggett Street: the big red factory, a landmark in the neighbourhood.

Angelo’s Fresh Pasta Products is truly a family business. Angelo still makes pasta on the factory floor and is joined by his wife, Val, who, having raised their five children, works constantly to grow the business. Three of the children work there too: Anita, Donna and Michael, Angelo’s right hand—he buys all the fresh vegetables for their pasta from the markets.
"The product speaks for itself," says Angelo, who takes pride in using only natural ingredients and 100% durum semolina flour. No preservatives are added to any product and the fat content is surprisingly low. Angelo uses an array of fresh herbs and spices to flavour his pasta products, including organic rosemary which he grows himself on a property at Dayboro, he affectionately calls "the farm".

Over the years, Angelo’s range has grown as customers have suggested new products they would like to see added—such as spinach and ricotta filled products and pasta sauces. There are now more than 30 different products, including Angelo’s Boutique Pasta range. Each product has been tested on Angelo’s five children and only after he has given it the tick of approval himself.
"If my father wouldn’t eat it, he wouldn’t sell it," his daughter, Donna, said. "His standards are very high and today, he still does a lot of the pre-production preparation and oversees each stage of the manufacturing process. No matter what Dad puts his hand to, he’s very good at making it a success."

Angelo’s Fresh Pasta Products has won many awards for their pasta products at the Sydney Royal Food Show and won the Pasta Championship for the 100% Durum Wheat Fresh Pasta category in 2003. Today, they supply the food service industry including restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, delicatessens and even corner stores. Angelo’s is now supplying Hog’s Breath Café Australia, the largest home-grown restaurant chain in Australia and New Zealand, with their Ricotta and Spinach Filled Tortelloni.

"For the first time in 19 years, we have introduced pasta on our menus across Australia and NZ," says Manfred Lorber, Director of Food Services for Hog’s Breath Cafe Australia. "It didn’t take us that long to find the ideal supply partner. It was very important to us to provide our customers the most authentic experience possible. Angelo’s Pasta was the natural choice. Angelo’s has a reputation for producing the best and most consistent pasta in the Industry."
Hog’s Breath Cafe is very proud to team up with this renowed Italian family who share the same values as Hog’s Breath Cafe to produce flavourful food with passion and attention to detail.
In forty years, Angelo’s Fresh Pasta Products has certainly come a long way. Angelo attributes determination and hard work as the secret recipe of his success. Says the veteran pasta-maker, "I’ve been around. I’ve worked hard all my life and I still do."