Our story

Baia Pasta was started in 2011 by Renato Sardo & Dario Barbone. For 8 years, Renato was Director of Slow Food International (Italy), 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. Renato always wanted to switch from Slow Food theory to 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 American-grown grains. We produce short cuts of pasta in 5 different organic flours (durum, whole durum, spelt, whole spelt, and Kamut® khorasan wheat). In the next few years, we plan to move to a larger facility with our own certified gluten-free space, offer long cuts of pasta, and possibly even mill our own organic flours.

We are inspired by our roots in Piemonte, where food is a passion, a language, an emotion; food is everything. We celebrate this Piemonte spirit of food every day we make our pasta, which is not only our passion, but our science (Dario) and our art (Renato). We are inspired 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.

Our pasta

We strive to produce dry pasta using local grains and flours than can be compared in texture and flavor with the best Italian ones. We make dry pasta using only the finest organic flours milled from grains grown in the US: Kamut® khorasan wheat, durum wheat, and spelt. We produce our pasta following traditional pasta-making techniques used by Italian artisans. Our dough is kneaded gently with cold water, extruded in small batches using brass dies, and slowly dried at low temperatures, producing pasta with exceptional texture and flavor. We also throw in a little Oakland flair by offering flavored pastas--durum semolina or Kamut® khorasan wheat pastas infused with organic spices or freeze-dried vegetable powders--like Garlic & Habanero, Tomato & Basil, Chipotle, Kale, and Masala.

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! Our production facility is where we make, dry, and package all our pasta. We are a small-scale operation that we think of as a small family: it's the two of us and two amazing employees. The four of us make it all happen in our space in Oakland: production, packaging, deliveries, sales, marketing, accounting, and distribution.