Marsilo and Palma Petrucci emigrated from Italy to Canada in the 1950s. Thirty years later, the couple combined their passion for crafting fine Italian cuisine to offer a retail, wholesale, and catering service to the Greater Toronto market.
Originally known as Queensway Noodles when the first store opened in 1985, the strength behind the Palma Pasta success story holds true to this day – offering clients a top quality product and premium service has always gone hand in hand. It is this commitment to quality that has made the company so successful over the years. Palma Pasta also remains a family-owned and operated business.
Anthony Petrucci, President of Palma Pasta, told The Canadian Business Journal, “Since we started, it has been about a quality product. We’ve never deviated from that. That was the one major thing ingrained from my parents; the cream will always rise to the top. We’ve never taken shortcuts or gone for cheaper supplies. The recipes we used in 1985 are the recipes that my mom has used since she came to Canada.
“We use all Italian products. What we use isn’t going to be the cheapest product. You may make more money using a cheaper supplier but you’ll never win in the end.”
Opening its second location in 1991, Palma Pasta has now grown to three retail locations, with its third store launching in Oakville in 2010. Relying on a model of retail, wholesale, and catering services, Palma Pasta performs its core operations in its main centre and then distributes product to its retail stores. More expansion efforts are in moving forward, with Palma Pasta hoping to add another three to five stores by 2017.
“Growth opportunities exist to open more retail stores, logistically in ideal communities where we think the product will sell best,” Petrucci explained. “Opening in Oakville, we had an opportunity to move into an established area with more house development in the future.
“I think once we start to open a few more stores, it will be much easier for us to open more stores as we go along. Our growth will happen with the opening of new stores while also increasing our catering client base as well as our wholesale base.”
Despite the company’s growth, Palma Pasta remains true to its family-oriented values. The stores have a family atmosphere from staff through to the clients.
Petrucci’s mother and father knew the family and history of every client that entered their store, and Petrucci has aimed to replicate this environment across the existing stores. He described, “Our products are made by hand so the human element is very much involved with our process and our product.”
Committed to quality and to its clients, Palma Pasta offers an experience that returns customers to its stores. Petrucci realizes that the client base will remain loyal and will forgive an inconsistency because of its great customer service.
“Sometimes a client may find that their purchase wasn’t the same as the last time but if they like the staff at our stores, they’ll come back(…) To us, a client is a name, a face, a person. If Mrs. Smith walks in and we know she likes extra mozzarella on top, we’ll do that, and that extra service goes a long way. You can have a great product but if you don’t have the service to back it up, you’re selling it to no one.”
Expansion plans aside, Palma Pasta has developed secondary initiatives to grow its client base. In an effort to serve all clients, Palma Pasta has plans to develop new products such as Gluten Free Pasta that will serve growing nutritional and health backgrounds.
“When you come to Palma Pasta, it’s because you want good Italian food at a reasonable price,” Petrucci concluded. We make everything from scratch, from the pasta to the sauce, everything is done in-house. We’re different from the others. We know that you have to make a product with love. My family and I all have a passion for this business and we know what this business means to our community. We’ve now been open 27 years and we hope to be open for many more to come.”