January 21, 2016
For Pasta Tavola, Victoria and Paula Watts’ pasta manufacturing & fresh food company, location is essential. In Belleville, part of the Bay of Quinte region, the sisters have been able to affordably purchase their own retail and processing premises; even better, they are situated between—and in close proximity to—Ontario’s largest markets for wholesale food processing: Ottawa and Toronto.
Belleville rests on the Highway 401, Ontario’s main transportation artery.
It’s less than a two-hour drive to Toronto, and there are another 5 Million people as you head two hours’ east of Belleville, towards Ottawa and Montreal.
“We can deliver product to our Toronto and Ottawa wholesale customers ourselves, and return home the same day, avoiding costly or extended absences,” says Victoria Watts.
The Bay of Quinte has attracted a comprehensive, world-class, supply chain of businesses to serve the local cluster of food processing facilities.
From dry and cold storage, to refrigerated transportation – full food processing support services are here, including a strong plastic and packaging sector. When Pasta Tavola wants to reach the rest of Canada, a food service logistics delivery terminal is on their doorstep.
The plethora of farmers and first producers in the Bay of Quinte is another time saving way to grow a business equally focused on quality, as profit. Watts says from the amazing cheese producers to the farmers who grow the flavourful mushrooms and butternut squash used in their stuffed pastas, “It’s easy to build stronger relationships with suppliers – they’re just a short drive away.”
Pasta Tavola is committed to ensuring each product has a “wow” factor for their customer. And in a smaller urban centre like the Bay of Quinte, word of mouth may get around even more quickly. “When we go out for dinner, we run into our customers,” says Watts, who is grateful to the community support they continually receive. “People are proud of us here; they want to see us succeed—that means everything to a small business.”
One of the other reasons Pasta Tavola excels is the region’s backbone of collaboration between strong economic development teams. Important advertising comes from the Quinte Economic Development Commission’s (QEDC) “Proudly Made in the Bay of Quinte” campaign. Pasta Tavola was provided with stickers to put on their packaging, and shelf hangers display their products in local grocery stores.
Trenval Business Development Corporation also financed and mentored the food processing company’s start-up process. The Bay of Quinte also has access to multiple funds for innovation in technology, training and job creation.
“It’s a wonderful place for a food processor, with six employees or larger,” says Watts. As they continue to grow, Pasta Tavola looks forward to hiring skilled talent developed through Loyalist College’s local Food Processing Program.
The team at the Quinte Economic Development Commission are always glad to discuss the resources available to food processing, and manufacturing businesses. Anyone interested can call 1-866-961-7990.
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For Pasta Tavola, Victoria and Paula Watts’ pasta manufacturing & fresh food company, location is essential. In...