The year was 1980 and the word “pasta” had been rarely uttered outside of Little Italy. Almost overnight, Americans’ understanding of pasta expanded from spaghetti and meatballs to a wondrous array of shapes, textures and flavors. That same year, Monique Deschaine witnessed the Pasta Revolution first-hand in New York City when seemingly overnight, emerging retailers began cranking out fresh pasta to satisfy the hunger of Americans seeking “exotic” cuisines.
Upon returning home to Michigan, Monique had the aha moment that would change the trajectory of her life. Why not bring the idea of fresh pasta to Ann Arbor? The twist would be to make pasta that tasted like fresh, cooked quickly like fresh, but had the convenience of a dried pasta. The 24 year old novice entrepreneur was now on a mission!
As often happens, the idea seemed perfect but the obstacles were many. With a degree in psychology, Monique had never taken a business course, had no access to capital, was not Italian and didn’t know the first thing about making pasta!
What she did have was a passion for food nurtured by summers in France with her grandparents. She had the drive to learn, a sense of optimism, and best of all, boundless determination!