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Laguna Beach


Local owner of Pasta Mia partners with Personal Gourmet to bring the best of the best to your door

Story and photos by DIANNE RUSSELL

What could be better than two people who have a passion for food partnering to bring their extraordinary products right to your doorstep?

“For years,” says Marisa Mazza, manufacturers’ representative at Pasta Mia and daughter of its founder Diego Mazza, “people have been asking where they can buy Pasta Mia products.” 

Pasta Mia, a pasta manufacturing company, sells to distributors like Cisco and U.S. Foods, who then sell to restaurants, but the products aren’t available in markets. 

However, two weeks ago, Pasta Mia partnered with Eric Kahane of Personal Gourmet, a fresh-frozen delivery service offering the highest quality in specialty seafood, chicken, and meat. Problem solved – and now Pasta Mia products will come to your doorstep. For the time being, only the beef and cheese ravioli will be available but other varieties are sure to follow.

In addition to ravioli, they carry tortellini, lasagna noodles, sauces, and other pasta items.

Local owner Marisa and Eric

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Eric Kahane of Personal Gourmet and Marisa Mazza of Pasta Mia

Pasta Mia has a long culinary history based in Italy.

Diego Mazza came from Northern Italy in 1980 with a dream of introducing the American market to the authentic Italian pastas that he had eaten in Italy. Diego grew up experiencing the best of Italian cooking rooted in the traditions of the Italian countryside. He watched his grandmother, Nonna Nina, prepare delicious meals and homemade ravioli, and ate the wonderful results. He brought this passion and respect for Italian cuisine to his products when he opened Pasta Mia in the U.S.

Marisa says, “In 1984 my father conquered his dreams – he moved to Laguna Beach and achieved his desire to live at the beach – and he founded Pasta Mia, to put his Italian tradition into his work. He started at the back of malls with two pasta machines, and he now has 40 machines.”

Diego Mazza now has over 500 different products and continues research and development – sometimes in his own kitchen, according to Marisa.

Pasta Mia products are a natural and inspired result of the Italian heritage of the company. This treasured experience instilled in him a deep appreciation for the natural flavors of real Italian food. 

The cheese raviolis are little heavenly pillows of flavor – the perfect combination of textures – silky pasta and a creamy blend of Ricotta, Romano, Parmesan, and fine herbs. We served it with butter, cracked pepper, and a few basil leaves. To fully appreciate the delicate taste, it isn’t a dish that should be overpowered with too much sauce. 

Local owner ravioli

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Pasta Mia’s cheese ravioli

Pasta Mia imports ingredients from Italy and uses local meats and vegetables.

Marisa says, “Pastas are prepared in our kitchens for maximum flavor and then fresh-frozen to lock in the fresh taste with no preservatives.” 

Marisa’s mom knew Eric and was familiar with Personal Gourmet, which delivers specialty items that can’t be found in grocery stores, so to offer Pasta Mia to the same customers seemed a perfect marketing match. 

Eric says, “The Mazza family and I share a passion for food.” 

Personal Gourmet offers quality and convenience by coming right to your doorstep. These are not run-of-the-mill products found in most restaurants or grocery stores. He sells to five-star restaurants and works with private chefs. 

He carries colossal shrimp, crab cakes, scallops, ahi tuna, sea bass, New York steaks, filet mignon, chicken, hamburger – just about anything you would order in an upscale restaurant. All the seafood is wild and all the beef prime. The chicken is free range, and he does carry organic.

Local owner ahi and pasta

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Ahi tuna and beef and cheese ravioli 

“Seventy-five percent of my business involves driving into the driveway, the customer opens his garage door and fills up the freezer. Customers also call their neighbors and tell them I’m there,” says Eric. 

“For the same price as it costs to go out and have a meal of scallops or sea bass for two, you could load up on frozen food for a week’s worth of scallops. Everything goes from freezer to table in 30 minutes – burgers, chicken, and seafood – all ready at the same time. And they contain no hormones or antibiotics. If members of your family each want something different for dinner, it will all be ready at the same time.” 

The majority of his business is by word of mouth, and he has an excellent customer retention rate. “Once they try it, they’re hooked,” he says. “The quality and convenience speaks for itself. It’s all about reliability and availability. There is zero pressure, and I offer a ton of variety. Most customers find real value in home delivery. It’s convenience over cost.”

Local owner truck

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Specialty products delivered right to your door

He also carries seasonal meats for the holidays.

Eric travels from Palos Verdes to San Diego, and travels up and down Pacific Coast Hwy. “It’s about the lifestyle, the peace of mind that comes with convenience and quality. If someone needs something, I get it to them.”

Giving back locally, he also runs fundraisers for schools, and supports local businesses and kids. “It’s a win-win,” he says.

Another win-win is the partnership of Pasta Mia and Personal Gourmet. Now residents can get specialty foods not found in grocery stores delivered right to their homes.

For more information and product lists for Personal Gourmet, go to www.personalgourmetfoods.com.

A new website is being developed that will be separate from Personal Gourmet for Pasta Mia orders, however, in the meantime, to view their products, go to www.pastamia.com.

 

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

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