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From dream to reality: Cotswold couple realise dream with thriving Italian food business

A Cotswold-based authentic Italian food business set up by a couple who initially dreamed of sharing the classic flavours of Italy with the local community is showing no signs of stopping — having expanded its operation to two professional kitchens in just four years, alongside its first restaurant opening next month.

Business owners Clara Cardillo and Matteo Conte launched their brand Non Solo Pasta in 2018, with ambitions of sharing their Italian culture with the local area. Since then, the business has developed a reputation for great flavour and now has thriving locations in both Stroud and Cirencester, where it employs three members of staff.

Starting their journey with a healthy dose of ambition and a love for Italian cuisine, Clara and Matteo were in need of a solid business structure and thanks to the help of The Growth Hub, this is exactly what they achieved.

The Growth Hub helped provide a future-proof development plan for sustainable growth as well as introducing Non Solo Pasta to a range of industry professionals, such as the design team at Hills Design, who helped create the brand’s identity through bespoke logos and wider branding.

Within this networking, The Growth Hub also helped them secure a trial listing with the Mid Counties Cooperative, which served to elevate the profile of the brand and saw its products retailed across Gloucestershire. This support and guidance allowed the pair to pursue their dream and even meant Matteo could leave his job to focus on growing the business full time.

Commenting on her partnership with the Growth Hub, Clara said: “The Growth Hub has been so important in our journey and we really wouldn’t be where we are today without their help and guidance. They introduced us to a lot of important people and for this, we are truly grateful. The past four years have been a whirlwind, but I can confidently say that we have come out the other side, more determined than ever to share the amazing flavours of Italy with as many people as possible!”

Non Solo Pasta started its journey at the Cirencester farmer’s market with its ever-popular arancino — a traditional Italian street food. Its tasty flavours of bolognese with peas, beetroot and goat’s cheese quickly became a firm favourite within the Cirencester foodie community and lay the foundations for their future successes.

The brand is now set to open its first restaurant called ‘Terra’ in June this year, which will be in partnership with the Sanderson Boutique Store in Stroud. It is also supplying the farm shop at Gloucester Services with its famous Arancini, with plans to stock more products in the coming months.

Peter Brown, Business Guide at The Growth Hub, commented: “When we first met with Non Solo Pasta, we really focussed on going back to basics and looking at the product offer, talking about branding as well as innovation and creating new products. I’m delighted to see the progress Clara and Matteo have made and they really took an opportunity to pivot through the pandemic — building on their foodservice and hospitality experience. If we can add value through both profitable sales growth and upskilling their wonderful local team, then we’ll be delighted. This partnership with Non Solo Pasta has been really rewarding for everyone at The Growth Hub.”

The Growth Hub is a one-stop shop for business owners in Gloucestershire, delivering a range of fully-funded business support solutions. It offers free expert-led workshops, modern co-working spaces, online resources, as well as direct support from a team of consultants designed to provide business owners with a sustainable plan for the future.

Clara continued: “I would definitely recommend The Growth Hub to any small businesses looking to take the next step in their journey. They provide you with the confidence and know-how to be successful and you won’t regret meeting them. Since the pandemic, our business has grown so much. We have a unit in the Five Valleys market in Stroud and a professional kitchen in Cirencester, with three amazing staff working with us. We really couldn’t be happier.”

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From dream to reality: Cotswold couple realise dream with thriving Italian food business

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