Meet the Maker: Krystal De Pasquale Director and Product Developer of Il Nonno.
Team Buy Aussie Now
This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members.
Il Nonno as a brand is entirely about family, quality, authenticity & passion. They aim to combine the importance of family, love & quality pasta - Better Together.
Tell us about your homegrown business.
Being of Italian descent we express our love through food and being with family makes it extra special. Our business is women/sister led. We are all unique & our work environment is always to work in, just one big circus! We all have different roles from product development, manufacturing, quality assurance, marketing, sales and we even do all the cleaning. Our partners also join in on the fun! However, we are all working together to make it a success for our dad “Nonno” and yet, he wants to make it work for us, his daughters. Nonno is on board for all deliveries with either myself or my sisters making deliveries have that personal touch!
From a product perspective, Nonno’s pasta prides itself on being 100% Australian made whilst utilising traditional Italian techniques to produce pasta. Our product is made with 100% durum semolina and Australian free-range eggs, with no added preservatives, colorings or flavorings. Our ingredients are sourced locally, including only using premium Australian meats- as we too want to support other small Australian business as much as we can.
How did you start your homegrown business? My father “Nonno” worked in the pasta manufacturing industry for over 60 years, at 80 years of age decided to retire - but quickly discovered that was not for him. From here, he came up with the idea of Il Nonno. A business, which his five daughters would run and ultimately for his legacy to continue for generations to come.
At the time I had just completed my biomedicine & honours degree when dad asked me if I would be interested to run this new venture for him. Of course, I said yes as not many people get the chance to do this with their father at 80 years of age and run a business with your sisters! It’s very significant for me and I have a great passion for cooking, and of course, pasta as I grew up learning all about it. After all, there is a science behind creating a quality pasta product!
What inspires you? My work ethic is most definitely inspired by my father, still, at 80 he works six days a week and I don’t see that stopping anytime soon! He has always instilled in me & sisters that hard work will never kill you.
Family, cooking and Italian culture massively inspire me, and I try to integrate that into our company branding, product and everyday running of our business. My mother and nonna were incredible cooks, and ever since I was a little girl I use to learn off my mother and still to this day I constantly cook! Given my background in biomedicine, health & wellness really inspire me and I am working on “healthy pasta products” to launch in the future.
What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? There are many benefits to manufacturing locally, but the most positive ones would be supporting the Australian economy, working together to support and supply other Australian businesses and creating really positive working relationships with our customers and suppliers.
What makes the Australian consumer unique? Australian consumers appreciate quality products, are acutely aware of their health, so ingredients are essential when purchasing food products. The Australian consumer is concerned about all aspects of products from the manufacturing, ingredients, packaging through to the way it ends up in their home. And of course, supporting other Australian businesses.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? For me, it would be launching our brand at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst we are an essential business and who wouldn’t want to eat pasta whilst in lockdown- at the same time it’s difficult to really get the brand out there, and for consumers to try something new during such an uncertain time.
What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? Whilst there is a lot of negativity associated with COVID-19, there are also positives. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way consumers shop- most people are becoming more aware of frozen products, especially during the panic buying phase. I think people that normally wouldn’t have looked in the freezer, did during this phase & noticed you can buy quality frozen products, Il Nonno. Of course, people now are focused on what is Australian made and the Aussie spirit is strong, where families are focused on supporting other Aussies.
Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? I am sure many will disagree with me- but I definitely keep my vegemite in the fridge!
Favourite Australian film quote? Muriel's Wedding — Joanie: “You're terrible, Muriel.”
Checkout Il Nonno for delicious 100% Aussie-made pasta.