A love for family, friends and entertaining, and a wish that some nights people would eat at home inspired Paolo to create a product line. Recipes were formulated, packaging created, branding implemented, and a business plan was written. Sourcing local products to use in Paolo’s recipes was the start of fresh flavors and our distinctive homemade taste. Avoiding preservatives, added sugar and tomatoes from a can is a philosophy we still stick with today.
Our initial “test market” was done by dropping off the “Weekly Menu” in Paolo’s Boston neighborhood at people’s doorsteps. There was one sauce for each day of the week that was “illegally” cooked in Paolo’s apartment, no deliveries before 6pm because of a full-time job, and sauces were delivered by foot! If the distance called for it, then the 1972 FIAT 500 would get started. Labels were hand written and the product had a 5 days shelf life. Sometimes sauces were delivered fresh off the stove and still hot! Customers could order one fresh sauce daily to be delivered to their house for $5, delivery included! For $1.50, you could add a box of pasta.
People fell ‘n Love, and Sauces ‘n Love, Inc. was officially born! With confidence and a new idea, Paolo wrote a business plan, “imported” his brother from Italy to help, built a small commercial kitchen, and started targeting local markets. Others retailers were quick to follow suit and customers began asking for Sauces ‘n Love pasta sauces – in the refrigerator! We offered in store tastings and positive publicity soon appeared in both local and national publications.
Paolo soon expanded the initial line of flavors, began a local catering company called “Lunch” and continued to deliver sauces to Boston’s favorite markets. Demand for Sauces ‘n Love grew and sales increased. We expanded in the Northeast region and slowly began to build our network of stores across the country to sell nationally to food markets, large and small. Scarpetta, our shelf stable brand, was developed to sell to stores that didn’t offer refrigerated cases. Interest in our fresh flavors, homemade recipes and delicious pasta sauces gained the attention of the media and customers alike – and the pesto addiction was in full force.