Affordable homemade pasta cafe with "Nonna's recipes" to expand despite COVID

May 5 2021, 10:26 am


Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.


The idea of eating pasta in Italy always seems to conjure thoughts of simplicity and rustic aesthetic.

We don’t need the fancy tablecloths, polished silverware, and excellent table service — we just want delicious, homemade pasts made with care put in front of us. For that kind of experience, a business would be able to lower the cost of the food by ridding away the frills of fine dining, but risk not having the exposure they might need.

Kathy Korcsok took that chance when she opened The Sauce Pasta Cafe on Denman Street in 2018. Here, they make delicious homemade pasta dishes at an affordable price. The cost doesn’t go into the decoration surrounding the plate, but directly into the food itself.

 

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Vancity has been supporting people in our communities since 1946, like local food creators. As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses and artists, we talked to Kathy Korcsok, about her unconventional process and delicious pastas. 

“We wanted to share some of our Nonna’s recipes and have a takeout concept,” Korcsok told Daily Hive.

“Pasta dishes to go without compromising on taste or quality.  Focusing on the food and not the overhead of a restaurant,” she added.

It’s such a simple idea, but one that’s paying off for the restaurant. The West End is a tight-knit neighbourhood in Vancouver, and it’s the delightful simplicity that regulars have grown to expect and love. Korcsok recognizes that and explained in her own words what customers should expect to find at her restaurant.

Friendly service, hot dishes, and array of Italian retail products to peruse while waiting for your dish,” she said.

 

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The menu, like its contents, are also made with simplicity — handful of items prepared perfectly.

We have 13 in-house homemade dishes and eight pastas,” said Korcsok. “We have a daily special and a ‘fresh pasta of the day.’ We are also expanding into offering Italian sandwiches as the locals have been asking, specifically for a veal sandwich.”

It’s nice to know that a restaurant with a clear vision is still willing to listen and adapt to what their customers are asking for. With new items to look forward to, it’s still nice to know what the favourite dish seems to be.

 

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Nonna’s meat sauce is normally number one — recipe handed down from my partner’s grandmother,” she said. “Second would be our Alfredo, we only make our Alfredo with 33% cream, butter and Parmesan..not ideal if watching your waistline.”

The global pandemic has hurt Manu businesses and many restaurants, which is why it’s more important than ever right now to order local food. Not only did Korcsok navigate her way through the tough times, but is looking at ways to let others find success.

We had a small place with limited dining,” she said.

“Now we have no seating, therefore, we had to think quickly how to use the space which is why we expanded into the retail side with our Italian imported products.  In fact, we are looking for someone that would like to rent the front of our restaurant to take over the deli side and really blow it out to the exclusive west end Italian cafe. We thought it would be a great idea for someone looking to open a business, and we could share rent and marketing,” she adds.

 

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This good karma and amazing product gained the attention of more than the residents of the West End. The Sauce Pasta Cafe has been noticed by a certain local Vancouverite, and will have a chance to share their concept with more people.

It’s evidence of the Vancouver entrepreneurial spirit paying off after time spent believing in yourself and doing good work.

We are super excited that The Vancouver Whitecaps approached us as they have a promotion going on with their players,” Korcsok told us.

“One of their players, Tosaint Ricketts, chose us as his favourite restaurant. Funny story, we followed Tosaint when he was in Toronto and then continued to follow him when we moved to Vancouver and he happened to come into our restaurant and has been ordering from us for the past year and a half,” she added.

Next time you’re feeling pasta, do like Tosaint Ricketts does — try The Sauce Pasta Cafe.

This content was created by Daily Hive’s editorial team independently, with financial support from a sponsor.
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