If you haven’t yet listened to the five-part Mission: ImPASTAble series, start here!
The first run of cascatelli sold out almost immediately. In the weeks that followed, the pasta basically went viral. In this update, you’ll hear how Dan and his family reacted. Then, Dan weighs his options for the future of cascatelli. For help, he turns to die maker Chris Maldari, and Cara Nicoletti and Ariel Hauptman from Seemore Meats & Veggies.
For more information on cascatelli ordering and shipping, check out these FAQs from Sfoglini.
Original theme music by Andrea Kristinsdottir. Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:
- "Loud" by Bira
- "Twenty 99" by Erick Anderson
- "Rooftop" by Erick Anderson
- "Lowtown" by Jack Ventimiglia
- "Talk To Me Now (Instrumental)" by Hayley Briasco and Ken Brahmstedt
Photo courtesy of Scott Gordon Bleicher.
Janie Pashman: All right...
Dan Pashman: The family has a lot of ideas for what the project should be. Janie?
Janie Pashman: Soda that's not carbonated. I don't like carbonation but l do like the taste of Coca-Cola. It's like a cola sirup drink.
Dan Pashman: I think that exists. It's called...
Janie Pashman: Juice.
Dan Pashman: Cola sirup.
Janie Pashman: How about potato chips where every—you know how like the really good potato chips are the ones that are folded?...They're all folded.
Dan Pashman: I've actually had that thought.
Emily Pashman: Ice cream flavored gum.
Janie Pashman: Ohhh!
Dan Pashman: Ohhh! That's interesting.
Janie Pashman: Right.
Becky Pashman: Doggie cake. Cake that's dog friendly.
Dan Pashman: All right. We'll keep brainstorming.
Dan Pashman: This is The Sporkful, it’s not for foodies it’s for eaters. I’m Dan Pashman. Each week on our show we obsess about food to learn more about people. Welcome to an all new update on Mission ImPASTAble. My quest to invent a new pasta shape, actually get it made, and actually sell it. And if you haven’t heard the original series, please go back and listen to all five episodes from the beginning, in order. Trust me, you’re gonna want to hear the whole thing before you hear this new update. All right, let’s do it!
Dan Pashman: We’ll pick up where we left off, March 18. The last Mission ImPASTAble episode drops. At the end, I announce that my cascatelli pasta is on sale to Sporkful listeners. It won’t go on sale to the general public until the next day, but we want to be sure that you, our most loyal listeners, have the first crack at the pasta. Less than two hours after the episode goes live...
Dan Pashman: I just got a call from my friend Stacey. She said it’s sold out. The shape has only been on sale for two hours.
Janie Pashman: No...
Dan Pashman: But check the website.
Janie Pashman: Maybe they like…here. Pre..[GASP] What so if it says pre-order..wait...
Dan Pashman: It says that...it says it’s sold out!
Becky Pashman: Oh my god!
Emily Pashman: Oh my god!
Janie Pashman: It's seven...Was this your parents?
Dan Pashman: They bought some, give me a little credit.
Dan Pashman: Full disclosure: my parents did buy 20 boxes. But still. In under two hours, we’ve sold 3700 boxes of cascatelli. I call Scott Ketchum from Sfoglini…
Dan Pashman: Is that the sound of sales, Scott?
Scott Ketchum: Yes, it is.
Dan Pashman: So every time your is your phone dings that means someone bought the pasta?
Scott Ketchum: That's right.
Dan Pashman: Is your phone still beeping?
Scott Ketchum: It is. It's...but they're actually coming in so quickly that there's stagger between them because we are getting emails in between and then they get the beeps and then the emails....[DING]
Dan Pashman: And so is it official Scott, are we making more?
Scott Ketchum: Oh, yeah. We're...it's official. We're making more. We just got to get everything back in stock and then figure out if we need to make more after that too, which it looks like we will.
Dan Pashman: Wow. So we're not going to...so I'm going to be able to keep eating cascatelli for a while.
Scott Ketchum: Well, if you can get your hands on it.
Dan Pashman: As you may recall, our first batch was even smaller than we planned ‘cause we couldn’t get enough boxes. Because of COVID there are major paper shortages. Everyone’s shipping so much. That’s the main limiting factor on how quickly we can make more cascatelli. Scott’s already ordered more boxes, but it’ll be a month before they arrive, and the way things are going, those aren't going to last us long. We can switch over to selling 5 pound bulk bags, the equivalent of five boxes of pasta, but that’s not a good long term solution. A couple hours later, after the kids are asleep, I fill Janie in...
Dan Pashman: I just feel like we’re back on the rollercoaster.
Janie Pashman: What?
Dan Pashman: Well, we’re like, yes, it’s amazing, it’s sold out! Then we’re like, omg, it’s selling so quickly, there’s no boxes. What are we gonna do? It so quickly went from celebration to a new form of panic.
Janie Pashman: Yeah, we need to get new boxes. Ask him to give me the name of the box company, let me talk to them.
Dan Pashman: Oh boy.
Janie Pashman: I’ll see what I can do.
Dan Pashman: I love… Over the course of this journey, you went from skeptic, to believer, to let me call the box company for you.
Janie Pashman: I mean, yeah. I told you, you should have charged $5.99.
Dan Pashman: I do not get much sleep that night, lots of cascatelli adrenaline. In the morning, we start to get some media coverage. The website PureWow calls Cascatelli “kinda genius.” Food and Wine calls it “perfect for sauce.” I’m already feeling pretty giddy about all of it. And then...
Dan Pashman: [LAUGHING] I’m sorry, I can’t stop laughing. Okay, so I just got a message from Emma on Slack that I got a request to be on Access Hollywood...what? [LAUGHS] You’ve gotta be kidding me. Oh, my God. This is crazy. Maybe this will all just be remembered as the time I was on Access Hollywood. [LAUGHS]
Dan Pashman: Once I come down from my Access Hollywood high, I call Steve Gonzalez, the other co-founder of Sfoglini, to see how he’s doing.
Steve Gonzalez: So far it’s a success so it’s just a matter of keeping it going. The shape has come to fruition and is doing—exceeded expectations.
Dan Pashman: That’s Steve Gonzalez getting very excited for you, folks.
Dan Pashman: By midday, less than 24 hours into this, we’ve sold nearly 15,000 pounds of pasta. Which is awesome! But, also, terrifying. It means we’ve blown through the next box order, and it could be months before more paper is available for more boxes. Plus, how the hell are we gonna make this much pasta? Here’s Scott again...
Scott Ketchum: We met as a team this morning, the main thing I wanted to go over is making sure we could keep up production and that we were able to get the flour because we normally stock the organic in any large quantities. So we do have a truckload coming and we’re working it into the production schedule in the next couple of weeks.
Dan Pashman: By Monday, three days after the pasta officially goes on sale, Sfoglini has adjusted their schedule to add more cascatelli production days. They’ve got more flour on the way. But the boxes are a bigger problem. We may not be able to get more until July.
Dan Pashman: So we decide to switch to a different box, one made with paper that’s a little easier to come by. Sfoglini orders… wait for it… 100,000 of these new boxes. They’re scheduled to arrive in May. We keep taking orders on the website, and tell folks they’ll have their pasta in 10 to 12 weeks.
Dan Pashman: From there, it just keeps going.
CLIP (NEWS ANCHOR 1): Apparently, there's a new pasta that has come out. So bye-bye spaghetti.
CLIP (NEWS ANCHOR 2): Ohh! What is that shape?
CLIP (NEWS ANCHOR 3): There it is!
CLIP (NEWS ANCHOR 2): It looks like a seahorse. Is that a seahorse?
CLIP (NEWS ANCHOR 4): It's called Castatelli...
CLIP (NEWS ANCHOR 5): Dan Pashman, Daniela Pasmashina....[CONTINUES IN ITALIAN]...
CLIP (NEWS ANCHOR 6): The creator claims he's not trying to destroy pasta. He's just trying to start a fights.
CLIP (NEWS ANCHOR 2): Castacelli sold out within two hours of being available online. All 3700 boxes...
Dan Pashman: My social media is blowing up. I’m getting emails from stores and suppliers, who want to know how they can get the shape. I get a call from our old friend Chris Maldari, the die maker on Staten Island, that he heard through the grapevine that someone in Italy was trying to get a die made to copy my shape! Chris tells them I have a patent pending and warns them to back off. A couple weeks into all this madness, I sit down with Janie on the couch...
Dan Pashman: What would you say the last few weeks have been like for you?
Janie Pashman: I mean, definitely much bigger than I expected. I'm actually having trouble remembering what I expected.
Dan Pashman: I feel like, you know, there's the first few days after it came out, the sales were crazy. There was tons of media and like it was like, wow, this is so exciting. It's amazing that we kept checking our phones constantly. And then I got into this thing like four or five days in where every day I was just wake up and I think to myself, I think things are gonna start to calm down now. And then, like by dinnertime, I'm hyperventilating. Like today...like yesterday, we read it in The New York Times and a segment we got Access Hollywood ran, which is a hysterical pairing to me. And then today, I run down the street to get to get some beer and I come home. And you came running out of the house.
Janie Pashman: SJP posted about it on Instagram, so that's huge. And I mean, it's exciting, obviously, because I love Sarah Jessica Parker. But even just everyone posting about it, you know, like people all over the country who are sharing...
Dan Pashman: Yeah, that's been some that's been like kind of made me emotional like a couple of weeks in when people started getting the pasta and cooking it. It's like every night I sit down, I looked at Instagram stories, and it's like I'm at dinner with people all over the country and all over the world.
Janie Pashman: Yeah.
Dan Pashman: It's like I've been invited into their homes and like that..I didn't expect for that to feel like such a strong connection.
Dan Pashman: What absolutely never crossed my mind, this might be the thing that I'm known for. This may be my obituary. Like it may say, Dan Pashman inventor of Cascatelli.
Janie Pashman: Right.
Dan Pashman: That’s the part that I didn’t expect.
Janie Pashman: What I wasn't expecting is like there's a business side to it and there's calls coming in, you know, that are interested in making this bigger. You know, so it's like we were excited about the pasta, but the whole business aspect seems very overwhelming and something that neither of us have experience with.
Dan Pashman: Janie’s right. I have experience running a podcast business, but I don’t know the first thing about running a food business. Coming up, I start trying to figure out what a long-term cascatelli business could look like and I answer some of your questions. Stick around.
Dan Pashman: Welcome back to The Sporkful, I’m Dan Pashman. On last week’s show, I talk with the musician Michelle Zauner, who performs under the name Japanese Breakfast. She just published a memoir about losing her mother to cancer, and learning to cook Korean food as a way to heal. Michelle has found visiting the Korean grocery store H Mart to be especially therapeutic.
CLIP (MICHELLE ZAUNER): I would go to H Mart and I'd be like, oh, my God, they have red bean. And then I'd have, like, this memory of red bean. This process kind of like started opening up a lot of memories of my mom that had been kind of like buried by this trauma.
Dan Pashman: That episode is called "How Crying In H Mart Helped Michelle Zauner Grieve Her Mother", and you can listen to it right now. Thanks.
Dan Pashman: Okay, back to the show, and just a heads up that there is one little bit of profanity coming up a little later...
Dan Pashman: In the weeks after the pasta launches, we get a lot of questions from you. So I asked senior producer Emma Morgenstern to put them together and throw ‘em at me. Hey Emma.
Emma Morgenstern: Hey Dan.
Dan Pashman: All Right. I’m ready.
Emma Morgenstern: Great, here’s our first question!
Ananth: Hi, this is Ananth calling from Northern Virginia outside of Washington D.C. So now that you've sold so much pasta, what do the economics look? How much profit are you making now on various packaging sizes of pasta?
Dan Pashman: I’m not exactly sure how much is being made per box. We’re selling 4-packs. Some people are using the coupon codes. The shipping costs vary… It’s hard to say to the penny exactly what's happening right now. I haven’t asked Scott to spent a whole lot of time crunching numbers because I want him to focus on making more pasta. So....But I can tell you that I have gotten back my initial investment, the kids’ college fund is looking better. Still don’t have enough for even one year of tuition in 2029. But things are looking up.
Emma Morgenstern: And here’s our next question.
Christina: Hi! I’m Christina from Denver, CO. I’d like to know, what do Italians think of your pasta innovation?
Dan Pashman: [LAUGHS] They seem to be skeptical. [LAUGHS] But not as universally opposed as I expected. There has been some sort of wary interest, for sure. But we have gotten some blowback on the name. I said in the original episode I know it’s supposed to be cascatelle with an “e,” we’re taking poetic license but that was not enough for some people, especially once I went on NPR. We got one angry NPR listener who wrote—who was very upset—wrote in that we had gotten the grammar wrong. And Emma, I know you wrote back. And then he wrote back again and said, “My immediate reaction is that you’re bowing to ignorance instead of fighting it, which is depressingly common. I suppose your first concern is money, not truth and beauty.”
Emma Morgenstern: Oh, man. You know, Dan, I’m a bit of a grammar nerd myself. So I had some mixed feelings about misspelling the word initially, but reading the reactions from people like this has really made it all worth it to me.
Dan Pashman: Yeah.
Emma Morgenstern: And here’s our next question, which is essentially several different listeners asking, essentially, the same question.
Joana: My name is Joana and I live in Belgium. Any prospects on internationalization of castatelli?
Lucinda: Hi, it's Lucinda calling from Brisbane, Australia. Shipping to Australia is currently about $130. Just wondering what you guys are planning for international fans very keen to sink these Aussie teeth into your pasta.
Maddie: Hi Dan, I'm Maddie from France. When will it be available in France beause I would really, really love to try taste them for real?
Dan Pashman: I have heard from so many of you, as has Sfoglini...Look, nobody wants you to be able to experience this pasta at a reasonable price more than I do. I’ve talked with Sfoglini about this and they’ve told me a couple things. First, four boxes of pasta which is 4lbs of pasta is actually big and heavy. It’s bigger and heavier than a lot of people realize. So it’s not a small thing to ship. Sfoglini does not make any money on international shipping. They are either charging you what they pay or less than what they pay, depending on the situation. Scott at Sfoglini has been working very hard on trying to find some solution to this. They’re gonna be implementing some new USPS options that should bring down prices for Alaska, Hawaii, US Armed Forces, and Puerto Rico. But Scott’s basic message is, look, the various solutions they’re working on will bring down the costs a little, but not a lot. So, you have a couple of options. You could pool your resources with some friends, buy enough boxes that the shipping’s not expensive. Or hopefully, as you suggest, I could work with a company in Europe and in Australia and anywhere else in the world. If you’re one of the people who works for one of those companies, call me!
Emma Morgenstern: Here’s our next question.
Bob: Hey Dan, it’s Bob from Michigan. Will there be a gluten-free cascatelli?
Emma Morgenstern: This is one of the most common questions that we’ve gotten from listeners and I, myself, am gluten-free. I have celiac disease so I’m very sympathetic to this question. So what can you tell listeners, Dan?
Dan Pashman: Listeners, by which you mean you, Emma.
Emma Morgenstern: What can you tell me, Dan, please. I’ve never tried cascatelli!
Dan Pashman: I know can you believe it? Emma’s been working so hard on this series for so long. It’s not fair. Yes, I want to make a gluten-free cascatelli. I expect that there will be a gluten-free cascatelli. First, I have to figure out what the heck I’m doing with the conventional one. I can only do one thing at a time, but 100%, I want to make that happen.regular pasta first, but I want to make a gluten-free cascatelli.
Emma Morgenstern: Cool, I’m sort of satisfied with that answer.
Emma Morgenstern: One thing I will say, this reminds me of something that my mother-in-law always says. So my mother-in-law, Esther Anzaroot, she has this gluten-free food business, called Gluten Free SY.
Dan Pashman: Which she started when you entered the family.
Emma Morgenstern: Correct. She always says to me that if you’re a restaurant and you offer a gluten-free option, you’re not just getting the business of the gluten-free person. You’re getting the business of the whole family or the whole party with the gluten-free person in it.
Dan Pashman: I think that’s a very good point. It does upset me to think of a family sitting down to try cascatelli for the first time and there being one person at the table who doesn’t get to have any. That’s not fair.
Emma Morgenstern: Yeah.
Dan Pashman: I don't want that. So yes, I want to make it happen for everyone to be able to try castatelli.
Emma Morgenstern: I am more satisfied with that answer.
Emma Morgenstern: OK. Here's our final question.
Swetha: Hi, Dan Pashman. My name is Swetha calling from Saratoga, California. My question for you is, do you have any plans to bring your pasta to in-person stores or farmers markets? I'd love to see it there.
Dan Pashman: Well Swetha, I mean, yes. I mean, the short answer is, I would love to see cascatelli in stores all over the place. But the tougher question thought is, what’s the best way to make that happen?
Dan Pashman: In the weeks after cascatelli goes on sale, I spend a lot of time thinking about the kinds of questions you’re asking, which can basically be summed up as: What’s next for cascatelli? It’s clear this pasta is going to be around for a while. I got to figure out what to do with it. Sfoglini has been great and I’d really like to keep working with them, but what if I start getting orders for this pasta that are just bigger than they can handle?
Dan Pashman: So I’m talking to anyone in the food business who’ll talk to me. I'm asking for advice and I'm trying to learn enough to be able to make good decisions about what I should do. And in all those conversations, one person emerges as a key figure, Chris Maldari. We’re on the phone almost every day. He completes his transformation from doubter, to tough love father figure, to my pasta business spiritual advisor. Plot twist! I ask Chris to lay out my options for me:
Chris Maldari: A full blown option is you make this shape that's taken off the first of your future. And you have hopes of creating a bunch of new pasta shapes and it's a new pasta company. And you're done with podcasts and you're moving forward that way. That's one route.
Dan Pashman: In this scenario, I launch my own food company: Sporkful Brand Pasta. I’m in charge of everything, manufacturing the pasta, selling it, building the whole brand. This would mean getting investors and making the new food brand my focus. It might even mean stepping back from this podcast, which would be a very difficult decision. Now the idea of spending my life inventing foods sounds amazing. I feel like that might be the role I was born to play. And if those other foods are hits, this is the scenario where I end up selling the company for some obscene amount of money, then pivot to inventing foods in my 5000 square foot tiki bar on the beach. Or maybe my other ideas fail, investors get restless, and I’m left with bupkis.
Dan Pashman: I don’t have any experience starting a food brand, but I know someone who does. I call up Cara Nicoletti, the founder and CEO of Seemore Meats and Veggies. We had her on here last summer, talking about her blended meat and veggie sausages. For our call, she brings along her co-founder and COO, Ariel Hauptman. Here are Ariel and Cara.
Ariel Hauptman: Building a brand, you know, building a Sporkful empire, there’s a lot to be considered.
Dan Pashman: I mean, the idea of launching a food brand sounds very daunting.
Cara Nicoletti: It’s really tiring.
Ariel Hauptman: But it’s fun, Dan! It's fun!
Cara Nicoletti: It is so—it is, honestly, so fun. But I have to tell you, I had no idea the minutiae. Just like, I can’t even tell you the number of incredibly boring things that we have to deal with in a day to make this really interesting product. Like dealing with the people that make the plastic packaging fit the size of the sausage. And I had no idea. I was like, I wanna make these sausages and sell them all over the place. I had no friggin clue how much boring stuff goes into it.
Dan Pashman: I’ve already gotten a tiny taste of what Cara’s talking about. One thing I’ve learned in some of my conversations is that the size of your box of pasta is a really big deal. Different pasta shapes come in different sized boxes, because some shapes are bulkier than others. Can you fit 20 boxes of your shape in a case? Or 24? The difference determines how many total boxes you can fit in a truck. So if a big store orders 100,000 pounds of pasta, that might take one truck or two trucks, which affects my cost.
Dan Pashman: And would I be responsible for trucking the pasta to a single location or would I have to deliver it to multiple distribution centers across the country? The locations of those distribution centers and their distance from my factory, will also affect my cost, and I’m terrified about the possibility that figuring all that out will require spreadsheets. So I hear what Cara is saying. Launching my own food brand would be a lot. Chris agrees.
Chris Maldari: I would probably find out where you live and come and get you and put you in a room for a couple of days until I talked you out of it.
Dan Pashman: Right. Okay, right.
Chris Maldari: Because it’s not something that I would want you to do. That’s an enormous investment. It's a risky investment and it takes you away from doing your podcast.
Dan Pashman: Not to mention the whole “building a brand” aspect. It’s notoriously difficult to get new products on grocery store shelves. Sure, there are some foods that start online then work their way into stores, but that’s a years long struggle. And once they’re in stores, if they don’t sell, they’re out.
Dan Pashman: So that’s option one: Sporkful Brand Pasta. The next option? I could just license the shape to existing companies and be done with it. I’d have nothing to do with the manufacturing. It would be up to whoever licenses it to make it and sell it. I could keep licensing the shape to Sfoglini, and their version could still have the Sporkful name and logo on the box. And I could license it to other pasta-makers and earn royalties from all of them, even if it doesn’t say Sporkful on the box. They could each make their version of cascatelli. This would be much less potential money for me, but also much less work and less stress. Then I can just go about my merry life as a podcaster with this extra income on the side. Ariel and Cara like this option.
Ariel Hauptman: Licensing, it’s just a matter of providing that intellectual property that you’ve created.
Cara Nicoletti: And then there’s a potential for it to grow so much that even if you’re taking less on a licensing agreement, you’re doing so many more deals that it is really lucrative.
Dan Pashman: But when I present this idea to Chris, he has concerns.
Chris Maldari: Once you start having multiple manufacturers making that, you lose all control of the quality of the product.
Dan Pashman: Right.
Chris Maldari: So your pasta will be out there and it may look ten different ways by ten different companies that are making it.
Dan Pashman: Back before cascatelli launched, I thought that would be fine. There are different rigatonis out there, different fettucines. People buy the one they like. But I’m realizing that cascatelli is my baby. And people associate it with me. I’ve made a lot of promises about how good it is. Sure, I can put certain guidelines into the license it. But how do I make sure everyone’s following those? What am I gonna do, hire a team of cascatelli inspectors with badges and white gloves to do surprise inspections? If I start letting places all over the country make my pasta, and they don’t do it right, people are gonna say, this guy Pashman’s a jerk, his pasta stinks. I want every person who eats cascatelli to have the best possible experience.
Dan Pashman: So the licensing option might force me to give up too much control. Ariel presents a third option:
Ariel Hauptman: Do you want to consider perhaps private labeling or branching out to other retailers?
Dan Pashman: You know how grocery store chains have their own generic brands of certain items? Those are private labels.
Chris Maldari: You go into Stop and Shop or any other brand and you pick up their pasta, you’re not gonna see who manufactured that pasta on that box anywhere. It’s gonna say Stop + Shop brand rotini or spaghetti.
Dan Pashman: Most stores that have their own brand of pasta aren’t actually manufacturing that pasta themselves. They buy it from someone who’s already making it, and put their own logo on the box.
Dan Pashman: Cara and Ariel had this opportunity when they were building Seemore sausages. A big store came to them and offered to private label it. Cara turned them down.
Cara Nicoletti: And it was really difficult for me to say no but I think I really did want this company to be sort of a family legacy and something that was attached to me and my family and our name. So I couldn’t quite let go of that, but I think in your case you have an interesting opportunity. It is so tied to you but it's also something, like, if you’re willing to let go of it, it could go crazy.
Dan Pashman: Private label is a middle ground. It means the pasta won’t have any Sporkful branding on it. In Cara’s case, she wanted to build her brand, so that was a deal breaker for her. But in my case, this could be a benefit. I wouldn’t have to spend time and money building Sporkful brand pasta, since the store will use its own branding. And I wouldn’t have to worry about getting it on shelves, because the supermarkets I’m selling to will make space for their cascatelli.
Dan Pashman: Unlike with licensing, I’d still be responsible for getting the pasta made. But I could work with a manufacturer to do that. I’d have control over quality, and the manufacturer would handle most of the logistics. I’d still have to keep tabs on purchase orders, deliveries, spreadsheets. Or hire someone to do that. And, I could probably still make Sporkful-brand cascatelli with Sfoglini at the same time.
Dan Pashman: So I’ve got a big decision to make. Option 1, invest huge amounts of time and money into building a Sporkful Brand Pasta Company. This is the most work and most risk, but it’s also the most potential profit. Option 2, is the other extreme. License the shape to some pasta companies, sit back and earn royalties. Less work, less stress, less money, but also less control over quality. Option 3, that's the middle ground. Private label. Maintain quality control, without having to build a brand or worry about shelf space. I ask Ariel and Cara for their advice.
Cara Nicoletti: Do you wanna be in the factory?
Dan Pashman: Not...I mean, like....
Cara Nicoletti: That's the question cause like...
Dan Pashman: I want to be in the factory once every few months.
Cara Nicoletti: Sure. Well, so...
Dan Pashman: To be like, hey I’m here. Look, the machines are cool to look at. Okay, gotta go! What would you do if you were me?
Cara Nicoletti: Me? I would license that shit and get out.
Cara Nicoletti: But we’ve had a long couple weeks. No, I think the ideal scenario would be you have your hands on one sector. One brand where it’s like, this is The Sporkful, this is the original cascatelli. And then you license it and let people go crazy with it.
Ariel Hauptman: Yeah. I say let people go crazy with it.
Dan Pashman: Chris, on the other hand, thinks I should maintain more control. He thinks private label is the way to go.
Chris Maldari: Your dream is to make a shape. You made the shape. Okay, you’re probably well beyond your expectations of what you thought you were going to achieve with this. Okay? Because let’s face it, most of us have our dreams and they get squashed. Your dream didn’t get squashed. You watered it, it grew, and now it’s growing out of control and now you’re trying to figure out the best way to have this thing grow where it fall over. And I think that finding a manufacturer to make it for you, finding somebody who wants to sell it in their already set-up systems? You know, it’s just a much better way of doing it.
Dan Pashman: So that’s where I’m at. I need to decide how to move forward and start moving. I’m not sure building my own brand is realistic. Especially since I don’t want to give up this podcast. Chris says getting set up for private label is also a lot of work, but once you have your manufacturer and a couple of deals in place, it mostly runs itself. Still, once in a while it's gonna stop running itself, and when a truck gets a flat tire in the middle of Iowa and some big store has their delivery delayed, do I really want to be the one they call to fix it?
Dan Pashman: Either way, I may not figure this all out for a while. These deals with big stores take months or even years, to work out.
Dan Pashman: In the meantime, I have some important news from Sfoglini, both about when you can expect your pasta, and when you might start seeing it in small stores and restaurants…
Dan Pashman: The folks at Sfoglini continue to crank out cascatelli as fast as they can. If you ordered in the first 12 hours, you’ll have your pasta by the end of April. If you ordered a 5-pound bag, you’ll have your pasta by mid May. After that there's gonna be a little delay as we wait for more boxes to come in. Remember that traffic jam in the Suez Canal? You’re not gonna believe this, even though our boxes come from within the US, that issue led a lot of other companies to shift orders to American paper, which has set us back a bit.
Dan Pashman: We still expect that you’ll get your pasta within the timeframe originally promised when you placed your order. Please don’t message Sfoglini asking when your pasta will ship. They can't give you an exact answer right now, and time they spend responding to messages is time they don't spend making pasta! They’ve set up an FAQ page that gives you an estimated shipping date based on your order number, that’s at sfoglini.com. We'll also put it on our website and in the show notes. Thank you again for your patience and enthusiasm.
Dan Pashman: And if all goes as planned, we’ll be up to date on orders by early June, at which point we will start offering cascatelli to restaurants and small markets! Exciting! So please tell your local eateries and shops that you'd like them to carry it. And if you're a chef or owner of one of those places, please ask your distributor to reach out to Sfoglini.
Dan Pashman: We will be doing more Mission: ImPASTAble update episodes as things progress, but I think it'll be probably be a little while before the next one. In the meantime please make sure you connect with The Sporkful in your podcasting app so you don’t miss those updates, or our other future episodes. In Spotify and Stitcher, Follow. In Apple Podcasts, Subscribe. And make sure you’re following me on Instagram where I’m sharing updates on cascatelli production, you can see when your box might be going out, and check out my mom’s cascatelli recipes there, on Instagram I’m @TheSporkful. We’ll be off next week but back in two weeks with a new episode.