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Family Traditions Stir the Pot at The Pasta Peddler | News

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Family Traditions Stir the Pot at The Pasta Peddler
Family Traditions Stir the Pot at The Pasta Peddler

Mike Sedia has fond memories of days that have long since passed, when he would watch his mother and grandmother prepare homemade ravioli by hand to feed their hungry family. 

“We’re Italian, and that’s what we would do on a Sunday,” recalled Mike. “Everyone loved that pasta. We always said that we should sell their pasta and sauce.”

Little did Mike know that he was predicting the future. Today, he is the proud co-owner — along with his son-in-law Eric Amodeo — of The Pasta Peddler, a business that has now been in the family since 1994.

Following a career in both the restaurant industry and social services, Mike began working part-time for the previous owner of The Pasta Peddler. When the then-owner traveled to Tennessee to open another business, Mike handled day-to-day operation of the local pasta company. And when the owner decided to stay in Tennessee for the long term, they began talking about Mike buying the business.

Mike would indeed purchase the business and move production into his father’s home in Depew, a suburb of Buffalo. At the time, he was only selling product at the farmers’ market in East Aurora and at one retail outlet.

Twelve years ago, when Eric became engaged to Mike’s daughter Andrea, Eric joined Mike as co-owner of The Pasta Peddler and they expanded their product reach to include the popular Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market in Buffalo’s historic Elmwood Village. It was a smart business move, one that allowed the company to grow its base products of pasta and sauce. Ravioli and additional pastas in a variety of flavors were added to the product line. Production would later move into Eric and Andrea’s home in North Buffalo.

As the tradition of making pasta and sauce continued and the business continued to grow, the family decided to meet with the Small Business Association to map out their future plans for The Pasta Peddler.

“We were still using a small countertop pasta machine,” said Eric. “When we made the decision to expand the business, we purchased a commercial pasta machine that we imported direct from Italy.” Then earlier this year the family took a giant leap of faith and rented production and retail space in the historic and recently renovated Horsefeathers Market on Buffalo’s West Side, a neighborhood rich in Italian heritage.

While the family’s traditional pasta and sauce recipes were growing in popularity and as new retail outlets were being added, Andrea was exploring her own interest in the culinary arts. Cupcakes and special occasion cakes were her specialty. She would eventually open her own business, Blackbird Sweets, and now shares space in the Horsefeathers location with her father and husband.

“At some point, Eric, Andrea and I all sat down and began talking about the big question: Are we going to stay small or are we going to go for it?” Mike said. “It was a crazy time. Eric and I were making pasta in the basement and Andrea was baking in the kitchen.”

Today, several members of this happy family can be spotted making their mouth-watering Western New York favorites daily at the Horsefeathers Market, located at 346 Connecticut St. And you can still find Mike, Eric, Andrea and other family members peddling product at the East Aurora and Elmwood-Bidwell farmers’ markets, and the Williamsville and Hamburg markets as well. Stop by and you might even see the next generation observing and learning, as Eric and Andrea’s children, Mia and Giovanni, are often spotted helping mom, dad and grandpa at the store or at the weekend markets.

The Pasta Peddler is one business that can truly trace its roots back to a tradition of homemade pasta and sauce and Sunday dinner around the family table. And if we’re lucky, it’s a tradition that will be handed down to future generations as well.

The Pasta Peddler and Blackbirds Sweets are open to the public Tuesday through Saturday. For more information regarding The Pasta Peddler, please visit www.pastapeddler.com, call 393-9547 or email sales@pastapeddler.com. And for additional details regarding Blackbird Sweets, visit www.blackbirdsweets.com, call 253-1115 or email blackbirdsweets@gmail.com. You can also follow both companies on Facebook for frequent updates.


East Aurora Businesses