How We Came To Be In Farmers' Markets
From our start in 1984, Pappardelle's Pasta Co. has been creating this nation's most exquisite flavored fresh pasta and serving it to the finest hotels, resorts, and "white tablecloth" restaurants. They remain a primary customer group to this day. You can read more about this here.
Translating these flavors to dried pasta turned out to be a formidable challenge. David Bowen, one of the original co-owners, began exploring this art form in 1990 with guidance from a friend who was selling a few of his own dried plain pastas at a small, local farmers’ market in Cherry Creek, Denver. It took David over 10 years to perfect his drying techniques.
In 1991, only a year after starting to dry our pasta, Pappardelle’s took over making the dried pastas for this friend, and we offered our unique flavors to him. It was a relatively simple approach at that time, and like elsewhere in the United States, farmers’ markets in the early 1990's had few vendors and were not the popular destination they have become today. When the friend retired a few years later, Bill Curtis, the other original co-owner, approached a local bread vendor at the Cherry Creek market about picking up Pappardelle’s line as a complement to their fresh breads. They agreed, and ended up dropping their bread line as Pappardelle's pastas' popularity exceeded everyone's expectations. That vendor expanded our pasta to other Colorado farmers' markets, and so began Pappardelle’s official entrée into its special farmers’ market niche.
When Jim took over Pappardelle's in 2002, there were three local vendors offering our pasta in 10 Colorado markets. They were a patchwork, with very different approaches and styles of presentation. Jim observed what worked well and what did not, and stitched together a very unique business method to allow newcomers to quickly excel at representing Pappardelle's products in a professional and highly successful way, with the ultimate aim being to maximize Pappardelle's customers' experience in each farmers' market.
Why We Work Well At Farmers' Markets
And why does the farmers’ market arena work especially well for Pappardelle’s Pasta? A couple of reasons. First, and foremost, it begins with our core philosophy: pasta products and sauces made the old-fashioned way, with the finest quality and a variety of flavors and shapes that most people have never seen. Second, it requires a vendor and sales staff dedicated to educating the consumer about what makes our pastas special and what are the creative ways that the unique flavors can be prepared and served. Third, our pasta makes the ideal starting point for pairing with the variety of vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, chicken and cheese featured at a farmers' market to result in a one-stop fresh, wholesome meal.
In other words, it takes the right vendor to present and describe our products, or as we like to say, “to romance the customer.” Once they try our products, they’re sure to come back to try other adventurous flavors and to tell their friends about us.
That’s why farmers’ markets are such a perfect place for Pappardelle’s products. With a simple 10x10 booth you can display up to 33 varieties of pasta on the table. With a 20x10 booth, you can show over 50 varieties. Think: candy store! The rich colors of the pasta draw in your customers. You and your staff are integral to teaching and enthusing your customers, and to partnering with fellow vendors who offer complementary products. Ultimately, it is the taste, quality and variety that turns our customers into devotees who keep coming back for more.
Expanding In A Deliberate, Limited Way
Over the past 15 years, we have grown organically from those three farmers’ market vendors in Colorado. We do limit where Pappardelle's can be found, but in addition to traditional farmers' markets, street faires and weekend special event shows, we have recently adapted our approach for unique specialty retail stores, including high-end olive oil and balsamic shops. Pappardelle's currently has over 100 select farmers' market vendors and retail shops across 29 states and British Columbia, Canada. This year will mark our busiest ever, with our pasta being proudly represented at over 250 select farmers’ markets and stores!
Click here to see a list of our current markets.
Although we would like our products to be readily available, we are not looking to expand "just anywhere." We look for the right fit. We generally do not advertise for, nor seek out, specific market or retail opportunities. Entrepreneurially minded people and those who relate to the farmers' market mission (perhaps someone like yourself?) or who own a specialty gourmet store approach us to inquire whether they might be selected to represent our products. Each person must first go through our qualifying interview, establish a positive relationship with us and their farmers’ market, explore jointly with us why a partnership will result in a win-win for all, and work with us to insure that Pappardelle’s products will be represented with the same standards of quality and integrity that goes into making the products themselves.
Our Farmers' Market And Retail Program
If you find a viable market and we decide to start doing business together, Pappardelle's offers a fairly complete turn-key program to help you get started and we provide you with ongoing support. Here are some of the materials you will receive from Pappardelle's. In creating a "farmers' market program," we devised an initial package of information to help you decide if selling our products is right for you and to help you to determine what you'll need to get started. It includes our operating guidelines, a sample first order, some tools to help you to determine your investment, revenues and costs, and some additional practical guidance on what equipment you'll need to get started with your own Pappardelle's booth and how to go about getting space at the markets you want to be in. We believe this package will answer most of your initial questions and give you a clear framework for determining what it will take to own and operate your own Pappardelle's booth, or to add Pappardelle's pasta to your store line up.
We have developed other sales tools to aid in your success. After you are accepted as one of our vendors, we provide you at no cost with online access to our sales manual filled with helpful sales information such as a complete history of Pappardelle's, product information, copies of recipes for each of our products, checklists to take to your markets, a spreadsheet method for tracking your inventory and consolidating your product orders, and many pages of helpful selling tips gleaned from our direct experiences as well as compiled during the last 11 years' from our different vendors' selling Pappardelle's products at farmers' markets and specialty shops.
And, of course, we have created and manage this website, in part for your direct benefit. This allows potential customers to find you, and with our up-to-date, ease of purchase e-commerce functionality, your transient customers (such as the vacationer in town for only a short while) can continue to buy Pappardelle's products when they leave your area and your regular customers can purchase any products which you choose not to carry and can also have a place to purchase once you have closed for the season. The nice thing is that even though we bear the cost of maintaining this site and providing the necessary order fulfillment services, we share with you a portion of every Internet sale to one of your customers. This way, your customers have a way to continue to buy a product they love when they're not able to get it from you and you have a way to realize residual sales from them in situations where there would otherwise be a "lost" sale.
Our products, program and approach have been so successful that in the last couple of years a few "copy cats" have emerged. Lacking in originality or creativity, they have resorted to mimicing our flavors and even use the same names. None, in our opinion, possesses our premium quality, attention to detail, or dedication to the vendors' and customers' experience. None engenders the level of satisfied and repeat customers Pappardelle's has become known for. We are the orginal flavor infused pasta creator, and like many "originals," we are the best at what we do.
How to Get Started
If you are interested in becoming a vendor for Pappardelle’s Pasta, please complete our initial inquiry form.