Baia Pasta was started in 2011 by Renato Sardo (left) & Dario Barbone (right).
For 8 years, Renato was the Director of Slow Food International, an organization that promotes local, sustainable, and fair food worldwide. Upon moving to CA, Renato helped found Slow Food USA and organized its San Francisco events, where he met and eventually partnered with Dario. Together we are now converting the Slow Food theory into practice.
Baia Pasta was born when he learned that most of the wheat used by Italian pasta makers is grown in the US, and it was nearly impossible to find quality dry pasta made here.
We combine the art of traditional Italian pasta making with great American-grown grains and produce short cuts of pasta in 5 different organic flours (durum, whole durum, spelt, whole spelt, and Kamut® khorasan wheat).
We are inspired by our roots in Piemonte (Northern Italy), where food is a passion, a language, an emotion; food is everything. All we do is dictated by the principles of the Slow Food movement: to provide people with delicious food that is good for them, good for the people who grow/produce it, and good for the Earth.
We are also inspired by the Bay Area food scene and the many local artisans/chefs/retailers/farmers who are doing their part to make good, real food accessible and by doing so, inspiring a transformation in production practices and the way we eat.
We have a small shop and production facility in Jack London Square, along the beautiful Oakland waterfront. Located so close to the San Francisco Bay, we thought our name was both clever and fitting: Baia means “bay” in Italian. Our retail shop is fully stocked with our pasta and local, artisan pantry items, like olive oils, spice blends, salts, pickles, sauces, and tomatoes. The sweet smell of pasta often wafts from our production space into our retail shop–our customers certainly don’t complain!
We are a small-scale operation that we think of as a small family: it’s the two of us and two amazing employees (Annie and Gerardo). The four of us make it all happen in our space in Oakland: production, packaging, deliveries, sales, marketing, accounting, and distribution.
January.2014 – Wall Street Journal (read)
This is what pasta must have tasted like in ancient Rome, before modernity tamed our wheat.
January.2014 – Bon Appétit (read)
Pasta used to be a last-resort dinner—and then I discovered Baia Pasta, an artisanal company in Oakland that makes its dried pasta using organic U.S. flours like durum and spelt.
April.2013 – Food & Wine (read)
High-quality pasta makes a big difference in this decadent dish: the shells retain their beautiful texture instead of turning mushy as they bake.