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New location gives San Juan Pasta room to grow | Business

San Juan Pasta
San Juan Pasta's Angel Michaels and crew, Mike Martin, director of sales and marketing, middle, and Mary WillAllen , at work preparing and packaging a fresh batch of rotini.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Grabby is good when it comes to pasta.

And at the new headquarters of San Juan Pasta, they’re churning out a long line of pasta products that will not only grab your taste buds, but whatever sauce you might choose to pour over your pasta as well.

So what’s the secret of a grabby pasta?

According to Angel Michaels, who launched the local pasta-making enterprise three years ago from the cozy confines of her former kitchen at States Inn & Ranch, it’s all about the brass.

That would be the customized brass head on the company’s 1940s style pasta “extruder” machine, that is, which gives various strands of pasta their unique shape, like rotini, linguini or ravioli, and a bit more of a “rougher” texture than one would normally find on your everyday, run-of-the-mill, mass produced type of pasta. Though you’d have to strain to see it.

“The notches really are kind of microscopic, but it does grab the sauce better than the ‘slick’ kind,” Michaels said.

From its new location at Surina Business Park, the San Juan Pasta crew is busy taking advantage of the expanse of its commercial kitchen to produce pastas that will grab your sauce and to create an array of other products as well, such as dipping and pasta sauces, and an assortment of wheat crackers.

In addition to giving Michaels more room to create, Sales and Marketing Director Mike Martin said the move into town brings San Juan Pasta closer to its clientele. The company supplies local restaurants with various pastas, offers its products as part of the San Juan Island Food Co-op and has a presence at the weekly farmers’ market.

“We really wanted to move into town, where the restaurants and most of our customers are,” he said.

San Juan Pasta also prides itself on relying on local ingredients and on a pasta making process that has stood the test of time. Martin said the style of making its pastas the company employs is similar to the approach used as far back as the 1300s. And it seeks out produce and ingredients grown by local farmers to create a line of “seasonal” raviolis, such as sweet potato, acorn squash and black bean cilantro.

With the extruder in full swing, Michael said the crew can produce 20 pounds of ravioli in about 45 minutes, but preparing the customized fillings generally takes another 45 minutes to an hour.

“It’s very labor intensive,” she said.

And apparently a labor of love as well.

For more info, visit www.sanjuanpasta.com, or call Mike Martin at 360 317-4498.

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