Growing up there was only one flavor of frozen ravioli available in our grocer’s freezer. It had no discernible taste, which is probably why we covered it with marinara sauce. Now I’m lucky enough to live only minutes from Casa di Trevi, a gourmet pasta company putting out products that are a far cry from what I grew up with. Casa di Trevi puts out 25 flavors of ravioli, as well as manicotti, stuffed shells, gnocchi, homemade sauces, and gluten-free options. All of this in a building that most people have probably driven by without giving a second look.
Casa di Trevi has been in business for 18 years, and has been owned by Mike Aiello for the past seven. Mike formerly worked as an operations manager in the food industry and saw Casa di Trevi as an opportunity to put his skills to use while also owning his own business. Mike’s daughter Erica works with him, and together his experience and her passion for food have expanded the company’s following.
Casa di Trevi’s products are mainly sold wholesale at grocery stores, delis, gluten-free stores, as well as restaurants throughout the area. Casa di Trevi also partnered with Dreyer Farms this year on their CSA box, filling up more than 500 boxes in one week. This time of year the most popular items tend to be the pumpkin ravioli and butternut squash sauce. Once the holidays roll around people will purchase trays of manicotti, lasagna, and stuffed shells to set out for their families.
In the time they’ve owned Casa di Trevi, the Aiello family has made a conscious effort to retain regular customers while also attracting new ones. They’ve kept the same vendors and employees as the previous owners, ensuring that the quality has remained consistently outstanding. People travel from as far away as Delaware and North Carolina to stock their freezers with Casa di Trevi’s products. One regular customer requested garlic stuffed shells, and Mike complied, creating a stuffed shell with the garlic roasted so long it’s nearly sweet. The shells were such a big hit that they’re now a regular item in the store. It’s stories like these that show why so many customers associate the Casa di Trevi name with quality, and why that other frozen ravioli has now been banished from my freezer.
Michelle Stavrou, the Union County regional editor, grew up in Bergen County, then moved to Hoboken (after a stop over in Queens) before finally settling in Cranford where she lives with her husband and daughter. Michelle was amazed to discover all of the delicious food in the Cranford area, which she documents on her blog, What’s Cooking In (& Around) Cranford.