We had the good fortune of connecting with Claudia Bouvier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claudia, what do you attribute your success to?
Pastificio Boulder truly started out of a desire to craft real food that is correct in every possible aspect. From the types of heritage and ancient wheats we use, to how sustainably it is grown and by whom (local farmers), to how it is milled and how wholesome, fresh and flavorful our flour is. From there, we respect tradition by crafting our pastas with Italian made (also by a small artisan company) extruders, using bronze dies which create the optimum texture in pasta for perfect “sauce grabbing” goodness. We also slow dry our pastas at low temperature, to achieve perfect taste, texture and nutrition. Our packaging is 100% recyclable, made out of sustainable, unbleached, FSC certified kraft paper and printed with natural inks. Even the little transparent seal is biodegradable.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Growing up in Brazil, I was always surrounded by incredible artisanal foods—and my large Italian family. After moving to the US for a career as a Civil Engineer and Interior Designer, I often dreamed about the fresh pastas of my childhood and the memories of my travels in Italy. While working in New York City, I met Ted, the owner and head brewer at Bank Street Brewing Co. in Stamford, CT. Together, we relocated to Boulder, Colorado: a city with a deep appreciation for local food and an engaged population of environmental activists. It was at CU Boulder, while I was pursuing a Masters in Engineering, that the business plan for Pastificio Boulder started to take shape. Joining Catalyze, CU’s incubator program, I began to apply entrepreneurship and innovation concepts to artisanal, health-minded food production. Meanwhile, Ted was increasingly engaged in the realm of sustainability and the impact of an industrial food system on both people and the planet. In particular, he began researching how ingredients grown and processed in a more natural, unadulterated state could counteract both environmental issues and growing health concerns, like gluten sensitivity. Together, we began to investigate the benefits of heirloom and ancient varieties of wheat—from their digestibility and nutritional benefits, to their wide range of earthy, sweet and nutty flavors. When we committed to launching Pastificio in 2018, neither one of us knew how fast it would grow. Yet by reimagining a pantry staple, we have joined an influential community of entrepreneurs and activists seeking to eliminate the negative nutritional and environmental impacts of our mass-produced food system. Along the way, we’ve partnered with like-minded farmers committed to growing organic, heirloom grains. We’ve milled our own fresh flour, and experimented with numerous small-scale pasta production and drying techniques. Most importantly, we’ve discovered that making nutrient-dense artisanal pasta—much like slow-fermented bread or natural wine—is a process that can’t be automated. From the protein content of each season’s wheat, to the ever-changing humidity of our production kitchen, each box of Pastificio dried pastas is attentively crafted by human hands to nourish our community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Colorado is an amazing part of America and its natural beauty is second to none. I would definitely plan a tour around the state, to visit the mountains, the unique western towns such as Telluride, Durango and the unique landscapes of the Western Slope. We would visit the farmers markets near the fruit growing towns such as Palisade, enjoy amazing concerts at the most beautiful outdoor venue – The Red Rocks. We would go to countless farm to table dinners such as the ones Black Cat Farm in Boulder beautifully organizes. We would visit one of my favorite places in Boulder, called Growing Gardens, which is an urban farm in the very heart of town. And coffee!!! There are so many amazing coffee shops in CO! Boxcar in Boulder, Loyal Coffee in Colorado Springs and so many others. Downtown Denver is also quite fun, the Union Station is a beautifully restored old train station and RiNo, an ecclectic artsy neighborhood. There is plenty to do in this gorgeous state of Colorado!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Much of the credit for our delicious pastas and recognition for the incredible ingredients we use should go to our local farmers. They have been leading the real food, local food movement in America and all over the world. The beauty of the varieties of heritage and ancient wheats we use come obviously, from Mother Nature and its biodiversity, but also from the hard work and vision of farmers who are sustainably growing and nurturing those seeds.
Photographer Lauren DeFilippo from Cognoscenti Creative