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Pasta Vera: A taste of Italy in New Zealand

Phil Bennett found his passion for food as a teenager through his friends, who were bakers and chefs. They introduced him to the idea of getting involved in the food industry himself, and with a fondness for Italian cuisine, he teamed up with co-owner Linda Murphy to make high quality, fresh pasta.

The owners’ skills complement each other very nicely. Phil excels in product development, engineering, and sales, and Linda is talented at analytics, finance, and her ability to build strong business systems.

Pasta Vera’s journey began with Bennett and Murphy owning a small factory and a factory shop, creating and developing many of the company’s core products at the time.

Over 20 years later, Pasta Vera sources fresh ingredients and delivers a range of fresh pasta, lasagne, and pesto, including a gluten free and a vegan range. Additionally, their products are available through food service distributors and retail outlets across the country.

The turning point

The most prominent feat for the business was when they were able to invest in a new purpose-built factory in 2017, located in Wigram, Christchurch. The new resources and increased rate of production was great for the company, they say.

“We went from originally hand folding pasta to being able to invest in Italian pasta machines to meet market demands.

“We were making Pesto with a stick blender and now we make it in large batches with a 100kg bowl chopper, and we’ve also gone from baking 10 trays of lasagne for our retail shop, to producing 3000kg a day.”

As a recognised supplier of fresh pasta products to the food service sector, Pasta Vera’s goal is to keep providing the food industry with quality and locally-made fresh pasta, pesto, and lasagne.

It’s founders are proud to be running a Kiwi-made business.

“It’s important for as a NZ business to support other NZ business and ensure that we provide quality, locally produced products for all New Zealanders to enjoy,” the duo say.

“Having the recognition of being an authentic NZ Made company builds credibility, trust and authenticity for our brand across levels of business.”