RP’s Pasta Company’s Savory Strings
By Julie Andrews | Photographed by Jen Dederich
RP’s Pasta Company founder and master pasta maker Peter Robertson’s primary goal is to give customers a phenomenal food experience. “I’m proud of making food people like to eat. I want them to take a bite, pause for a second and say…‘This is so good.’” To learn more about Tribe Nine Foods, visit its websites: rpspasta.com, yumbutter.com or onatreats.com.
Having begun with over 30 pasta varieties, Robertson later downsized the product line to a handful of best sellers and seasonal varieties. “Farm to fork with a conscience” is its motto, meaning the RP’s crew sources the ingredients from mostly Midwestern farms. Fave products like egg linguine and four cheese tortellini, which Roberston calls familiar pantry staples. “People just like them them.” RP’s Pasta Company also features award-winning, certified gluten-free pastas made from California-grown brown rice.
Robertson grew up cooking with his mother and started RP’s Pasta Company with his father and brother in 1995. To help generate a focused business plan, Rich Ciurczak came on as president in 2009 and his sons Will and Steve joined RP’s later. The team recently joined forces with the Madison-owned nut butter company YumButter and Ona Treats of Colorado to make Tribe Nine Foods. All three product lines feature natural, wholesome ingredients.
While visiting northern Italy in the early ’90s, Robertson wondered: “Why does their pasta taste so much better than what I’m used to?” Freshness was the reason, he would realize, after tasting the best Carbonara of his life. This dish inspired him to create a line of small-batch, handmade pastas to give as Christmas gifts. His artisan pasta caught on fast as local chefs began to feature it on their menus. Now RP’s fresh pasta products are available nationally. Robinson’s newest goal is to create recipes that fuse products from all three Tribe Nine brands. “It’s work,” he says. “But it makes me smile.”