We are so excited to be carrying the delicious pasta from Bob and Jen Eckert of Northern Farmhouse Pasta. Utilizing the best that New York has to offer, ranging from cheese, produce, flour, and the Eckert’s very own duck eggs, Northern Farmhouse Pasta makes an incredible product while doing it the right way! I sat down with Bob to discuss making pasta, supporting local farms, and why to do what you love. Check it out below!
When did you start Northern Farmhouse?
My wife Jen & I started Northern Farmhouse Pasta back in 2011. I always wanted to be in the food industry in one way or another. When my son Robert was born I knew it was time.
What drove you to start Northern Farmhouse?
I previously ran one of NYCs largest carpentry companies building high rises, but this kept me from my family during the week, so I was determined to start a business that would allow me to be home at the end of every day. I always enjoyed pasta and began making it for our family and it was a hit because it was fresh, not sitting on a shelf in a store for a year or more. So the wheels in my head started turning. We setup Northern Farmhouse Pasta and did only one farmers market that Summer of 2011. Our pasta was a hit and we continuously were selling out of pasta and ravioli.
What was your primary focus when starting?
Our focus was to create a local pasta using ingredients from our farm or surrounding farms. We began working with Cayuga Pure Organics and Farmer Ground to get the best local wheat flour. We worked with different types to get the right consistency. Then came the different varieties of pasta…that didn’t happen overnight.
Northern farmhouse has a lot of unique flavors, what inspired you to go against the norm in terms of your typical pasta and ravioli combinations?
I was consistently looking and tasting different veggies and seeing if they would hold their flavor in the pasta. My favorite is the Applewood Smoked Tomato Pappardelle. We also focused on seasonal pasta. In the Spring we forage for Wild Ramps and use them in our pasta and ravioli. In the Winter, when I hike the mountains around our farm I will collect specific pine needles and blend this in to our pasta creating and incredible pine flavor that pairs real well with chicken or wild game. This keeps us different than the big factory pasta companies. When making our ravioli we approached it the same way when it comes to flavors. I love being creative. It was key to get a great cheese and we did from a local farm, Tonjes Farm Dairy. They raise, milk their cows and produce cheese right there on the farm.
What’s your vision for the future?
Over the past couple of years, specifically the past year we have grown quite a bit. It is still my wife and I making the pasta & ravioli and we are also opening a new retail shop right down the road in Roscoe. We will hire a few local people to help us. We love doing the Farmer Markets and meeting the people that enjoy our pasta and this always helps us get feedback. We are thankful every day that people appreciate the quality small, local artisan shops like ours can provide.