Farmers Market Friends travels to markets around the world to discover the most delicious goods and creative makers. Hear from one of these creative makers, Lara’s Cuisine, about their delicious pesto!
Their Pesto Beginnings
Lara Ferri and Giuseppe De Vincenzo own and operate Lara’s Cuisine out of Duxbury, Massachusetts. Lara’s Cuisine specializes in fresh and natural pesto. We first met Lara and tasted her savory pesto at the Plymouth Farmers Market located near the historic Plimoth Plantation, an interactive living history museum of the Plymouth Colony.
In 2009 for Giuseppe’s work, he and Lara moved from Emilia, Italy, to the United States. When they first immigrated, he had a working visa, but she did not yet have a permit to work locally. “Then we got the green card, so I wanted to start doing something!”
Lara’s Cuisine is home to some delicious pesto. Throughout all of our travels and farmers’ market touring this summer, we have yet to find anything like their pesto. She started with her classic Basil recipe, and they have since added tomato, black olive, zucchini curry, and artichoke pesto varieties. When we asked about the unique taste, they told us, “Our recipes come from our families.” She first prepared the recipe for a nearby market, where she quickly gained a fun reputation as the “Pesto Lady.” Lara is the master in the kitchen, and Giuseppe deftly manages their marketing, website, and visual displays.
Focused On Their Strength
When they first started selling at markets, they made jams, marmalade, and relishes, but soon they decided to first embrace and invest in their strength – delicious, preservative-free pesto. It’s all about quality, and they credit their success to their time-tested, classic family recipes from Italy. Now with an established pesto track record and loyal clientele, they are experimenting with improving and adding their tasty relishes to their product line.
Why do you think people enjoy your pesto so much?
Lara told us, “I sell my products because I believe in them. We’re still making the pesto the same way we made it at home. We haven’t changed anything. The ingredients are higher priced. But of course the end result is why people keep coming back. We don’t want to compromise that.”
Giuseppe, “In Italy we cooked a lot at home, and we try to cook everything fresh from scratch. Everything is different here. Here, there is so much processed. What are we really eating and why? The food is so processed, even the bread we were buying.”
“We decided not to use any preservatives. We thought about making it cheaper, then we decided against it. We may not sell millions of jars, but what we sell is good and keeps people coming back. We just want to live life and be happy – do our own work. We learned about the food over here, and that led to making a good product.”
What culinary insights have you learned?
Lara told us, “We learned how to combine traditional recipes that we used everyday with new foods. I learn from the customer how to use my own product. Customers give us a suggestion on how to use the product, and we try it at home. Combining the two cultures expanded our views.”
When we asked about the future for small batch food creators, Giuseppe shared with us, “More and more people are looking into really quality food and good products. There is definitely space for it. Don’t overdue it. Try to make something appealing. People are going to love it. If you keep pushing yourself, you’re going to make it.”
What keeps you motivated?
Lara said, “The reviews from customers! The regular customer running to my booth in the pouring rain, thanking me for being there, and running back to their car. And, customers sending me messages thanking me.”
Get your hands on some of Lara’s delicious pesto at the Lara’s Cuisine DLSH Booth. You can also find Lara’s Cuisine at the Plymouth, Chatham, Braintree, SOWA, and Provincetown farmers’ markets.
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