Superior Pasta Company

Award-winning Products Since 1948 in the Heart of Philadelphia's Historic Italian Market

Superior Pasta Company Mission Statement

To offer our customers the highest quality pasta and Italian specialty products at the lowest possible cost while providing total customer satisfaction.

Philadelphia's Italian Market in 1937.

Philadelphia's Italian Market in 1937.

In the early part of July 1918, in the Italian village of Cassino, between Rome and Naples, a young woman gave birth to her first child.  This in and of itself is by no means unique; after all, many women around the world give birth everyday.  What makes this birth special is the environment in which her baby was born.

It was mid-day and young Sophie was in her kitchen with her mother putting the finishing touches on a feast they had been preparing for days.  This meal was a celebration in honor of her grandmother's 90th birthday which incorporated dozens of the more than one hundred fifty recipes handed down through her mother's side of the family for generations.  The centerpiece of the celebration was ravioli, manicotti and lasagnas all filled with delicious cheeses and blended with herbs and spices from Sophie's own backyard garden along with wonderful gravies (sauces).  All of these dishes were favorites of Sophie's because they were the first ones her mother taught her to prepare.  This feast was their family signature.

It wasn't long after Sophie finished picking her ingredients that she began to feel it, and she knew immediately that a day in honor of her grandmother would embrace the day that would become her child's birthday.  And so amid the wonderful aromas of chopped tomatoes, freshly picked herbs, spices, soft cheeses, and pure virgin olive oils, Sophie gave birth to a beautiful boy she named Nicolo.

Not surprisingly, as Nicolo grew older, he took great interest in learning the art of cooking from his mother and grandmother.  Perhaps it was a fate he could not escape; after all, stories of his birth became legend in his village.  He was proud to continue his family's tradition, educating himself by roaming the surrounding fields and becoming one with the ingredients he produced.  He even went so far as to press his own virgin olive oils which he began to sell locally.

Word of Nicolo's talents and creations began to make their way to the surrounding towns and villages.  People came from miles away to partake of his creations.  Ultimately, one of his relatives persuaded him to take his talents to the New World.  And so, in 1937, at the age of 19, this young Italian immigrant made his way across the Atlantic Ocean and settled into one of the densest Italian neighborhoods in the United States.  This neighborhood was known as South Philadelphia.

In 1945, just eight years after his arrival, Nicolo opened up his own shop in what was then and still is South Philadelphia's Italian Market.  There he set about to create dishes that would be worthy of the name he would call his store:  Superior.  Superior not only because he believed his product was better than anyone else's, but because his product simply was that.  Superior.  The best.

Skilled in the art of preparing and cooking exquisite pasta dishes, he produced the finest cheese ravioli.  The success of his creation inspired him to add several new raviolis with such fillings as porcini mushroom, eggplant, spinach, lobster, crab, etc.

Meeting with enormous success, the little pasta shop then began to make a complete line of pasta including plain, egg, garlic and herb, tomato basil, spinach, hot pepper, etc. available in cuts of spaghetti, fettuccine, linguini, and capellini.

As his business grew, his customers prompted him to make take-home dinners, recipes which he had brought from the old country.  It was then that he started to make world class varieties of lasagnas as well as his meatballs, stuffed shells, baked ziti and other wonderful dinners including his own famous eggplant parmigiana.

As time went on he imported special olive oils from his home country as well as many other specialty gourmet items.  From these humble beginnings sprang forth the finest pasta company in the world today.  Superior Pasta.

We still use the original family recipes in making our "Old World" pasta dishes.  You can enjoy them in your own home, send them as gifts or for special occasions and holidays.

Copyright Superior Pasta Company 2014                                                                                                                                                                                  Photographs by Rodger Holst, Copyright 2014