Sheree Jeffery started Leonella Pasta, hoping to pass on the flavours of the traditional Italian pasta she grew up with to the Coffs Coast community. Named after her children, she hopes Leonella Pasta grows to become the kind of business she can pass down to them and that will continue to supply us with quality Italian cuisine for a long time to come.
Hi Sheree. Tell us a bit about why you choose to live on the Coffs Coast?
The Coffs Coast is my hometown and where I grew up and worked within the hospitality industry. I moved away and became a flight attendant, then moved into sales. When I met my husband and we started a family, I knew straight away that one day I would like to return to Coffs.
Coffs Harbour is a very beautiful part of the world, and I feel that it is one of the best places to raise a family, so my husband and I decided to make the move back from Brisbane. We wanted to be closer to family and hopefully provide our children with that same relaxed lifestyle I was lucky enough to enjoy during my childhood.
You have a great little business called Leonella Pasta. Can you tell us a bit about it and how it got started?
It’s always been a dream of mine to own my own business. The opportunity arose for us to purchase the pasta equipment from Yvonne and Silvano Zecchinati, who owned Zac’s Pasta. We naturally jumped at the opportunity to be able to provide a locally made and exclusive product to the locals of Coffs Harbour. We are 100% a family oriented business and have named the business after our children, as we really wanted to include them in our venture. We have all worked really hard to get to where we are with setting up the commercial manufacturing kitchen; it has been a long process, and we are finally moving forward. Ultimately we would love the business to be successful enough so that our children can one day take the reins.
Have you always enjoyed cooking and making pasta?
Yes, I have always enjoyed cooking and being from an Italian family, making and eating fresh pasta and gnocchi has always been a part of our household. I feel very confident and comfortable in my ability to make delicious pasta. I completed many certificates/qualifications within the hospitality field throughout my school and TAFE years here in Coffs. I enjoy cooking and making food for people to enjoy, and we have been overwhelmed with the love and positive feedback on the products and dishes we have produced so far.
What inspires your cooking and your business?
The inspiration for cooking and this business is my Italian heritage. I would love one day to be able to pass on this successful business to my children, so they can then continue passing on our heritage and culture to their children. Having visited family in Italy a number of times, it has definitely inspired me to bring some of our Italian foods to the dinner tables of my customers.
Where do you sell/distribute your pasta?
I sell my products locally, to restaurants, cafés and to some retails outlets, with the vision to expand along the Mid North Coast. I enjoy the relationships I have with my customers, as I also do home deliveries and have been lucky enough to form relationships with my customers in the local area. We attend local food markets and festivals and serve up freshly prepared dishes for people to enjoy. You can contact me directly on my mobile or Facebook page to find out current locations and upcoming festivals you can find us at.
Tell us about the process of making your pasta …
I use three main ingredients: Durum Semolina, free range eggs and water. This gets mixed in the machine, and then it comes out on a large roll. The machine does many cuts of pasta: Pappardelle, Fettuccine, Linguine, Lasagne Sheets, along with extruded cuts like penne, macaroni, and angel hair. My pasta can be supplied fresh or frozen.
How does fresh pasta compare to dried pasta?
Fresh pasta is made from flour and eggs. It is very light, creamy like, it is very quick to cook and is best served with a simple sauce. It is about the pasta, not the sauce. I find dried pasta a little heavier to eat; it is mainly made with flour and water and does take a little longer to cook.
What is the food culture like here on the Coffs Coast?
We are very lucky to have a wide variety of cuisines represented in Coffs Harbour. The Coffs Coast holds many food festivals and food sampling events; I’m continuously impressed with the quality of the fresh and prepared produce available here. With so many quality farms and newly home grown businesses popping up along the coast, it is growing into a larger food oriented community. It’s great to see, and I look forward to being a part of the growth. The locals are always keen to try new and exciting cuisines.
What other products do you make?
Our product range extends not only to fresh pasta, but Gnocchi, Ravioli, Lasagne and Italian sweets – all of which are lovingly made from scratch in our kitchen in the Boambee Valley.
Where can we get in touch?
Contact me via Facebook or give me a call on 0434 022 969.