The Ravioli Store has been operating in LIC since 2006, and has been redefining the traditional stuffed past with non-traditional flavors like butternut squash, potato truffle and sweet potato fig.
“Our flavor profiles are really bold and strong and sometimes bordering on funky,” said owner Michael Nasoff. “Unusual just gives a chef an opportunity to create.”
Nasoff said the unusual ingredients means the Ravioli Store never competes with the traditional cheese ravioli market, something that Nasoff said he doesn’t want to do.
Instead, he caters to a more boutique and niche audience. While he is focused on expanding the business, he said that he is also dedicated to keeping the quality of his product high.
“We’re an artisan company,” he said. “We do a lot of handmade and custom products.”
The business started in 1989 in Manhattan as an offshoot of a restaurant in SoHo. Nasoff left his job in marketing and bought the business a decade ago, eventually moving it to Long Island City for lower rents and more space.
The Ravioli Store now operates out of a 10,000-square-foot facility that was previously a bakery until it was renovated for the Ravioli Store with an eye toward the growth of the businesses.
“Since moving to Long Island City, we’ve expanded into also selling to the retail channel,” said Nasoff. “So we sell to stores like Fairway, Fresh Direct and a lot of gourmet stores.”
Looking toward the future, Nasoff said that the two main goals are to create a gluten-free pasta and become USDA certified, allowing the company to stuff ravioli with meat and poultry.
Nasoff said that while small restaurants and family-owned eateries are popping up throughout the neighborhood, he as a manufacturer has to be careful.
“It’s great to see all the residential growth in Long Island City and now the supporting business community, including restaurants, however these smaller restaurants very quickly find themselves in cash-flow problems.” Nasoff said. “But it is definitely a great new opportunity.”