CLEVELAND — Ohio City Pasta was started back in 1990 by Gary Thomas, a chef who saw an opening for a local company that supplied fresh pasta to area restaurants.
"I was in a Northern Italian restaurant, the Burgess Grand Cafe," Thomas explained in a recent interview. "We were making all of our pasta fresh, six different kinds. Talking with other chefs, we thought it would be nice. We didn't see anyone making the real deal on a wholesale level."
Thomas, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York, quickly found a market for his fresh pasta. Within a year or two, he was distributing to more than 60 local restaurants. Soon, Ohio City Pasta was being served by restaurants all over Ohio.
A few years back, Ohio City Pasta moved to a larger facility by Cleveland's food terminal. The bustling, flour-dusted kitchen turns out dozens of products starring fresh pasta, from flat lasagna noodles and fusilli to Japanese ramen and pierogis.
"Lately, it's been really popular," Thomas says of the pierogis, adding that flavors range from potato and cheddar to sauerkraut. "We can't seem to make enough."
These days, Ohio City Pasta can be found on the shelves of Heinen's, Giant Eagle, and Market District grocery stores in multiple states; at dozens of farmers markets; and at the flagship stand at the West Side Market, which has been there for decades.
Speaking of the West Side Market, soon Ohio City Pasta will debut an expanded presence at the iconic location, offering more pastas, sauces, and prepared foods. You can check out all Ohio city pasta has to offer here.