A Welsh family business with an Italian twist is taking shape in the Teifi valley.
Llechryd based fresh pasta company 'Casa Del Cymru' is set to launch this spring, and aims to offer healthy affordable food in markets, shops and cafes throughout the area.
Husband and wife team Gina and Simon Pope have a passion for pasta, and are following in the footsteps of Gina’s Italian family, the Sarracinis who put down roots in the area after her grandfather was a prisoner of war at Henllan.
Gina’s grandfather left a wife and daughter in Italy before the war, then returned to Sora to collect his family. The family moved to Newcastle Emlyn where Gina’s father Toni was born.
Gina’s grandmother made pasta in her home to traditional Italian recipes.
Gina said: “She always used to be making pasta, and had a spare room with a washing line where it would all hang.
“Every Sunday, instead of a roast, we would have pasta. Even though she lived in Wales she still kept her Italian ways and never really learnt Welsh or English.”
She added: “We always make pasta now, especially because of the kids, it’s so quick to cook.”
While the family’s traditional pasta maker still has a place in their kitchen, Simon and Gina have adapted part of their home to house their pasta-making equipment.
The company produces fresh pastas in a variety of colours and flavours, including beetroot, roasted garlic, lemon, carrot and chilli, and raviolis with fillings such as Cardigan crab and lime, and locally smoked mackerel with mascarpone.
The couple aim to incorporate ‘super-foods’ such as spinach and seaweed to give their produce a healthy boost.
Simon said: “The health aspect is very important to us. Where possible everything is sourced locally. The flour being the most difficult which is grown and milled in Oxford.
“Our aim is to provide good quality local food to everyone, not just the wealthy. We’re very excited to see how it all goes.”