I am passionate about my product, and am equally as proud of the path I’ve taken in achieving my vision for Bongo & Capacci.
Upon graduating in the 1970’s, I sat myself down at a table that came in the form of ladies’ sportswear. Around 1991, after being in business for myself for many years, it became apparent to all that the garment industry had run its course. As importers, we had educated our customer, the retailer, on how to produce the product they needed and introduced them to overseas manufacturers. I left the garment industry in 1994 in search of a new career.
After leaving my decades long career, a friend asked me if I’d tried a new pasta store that had opened in a nearby town. My family was going skiing in Vermont, and so I purchased from them all kinds of pastas, ravioli, sauces and lasagna for us to take with us for dinner. The stuff was terrific, and upon my return, I searched out the local manufacturer to explore a possible involvement with him. It soon became clear that there was no immediate opportunity, but the idea stuck with me. A few months later I found two young gentleman in Peekskill, NY with a small ravioli machine. They were making some truly wonderful products, but not making considerable profit. I began selling their creations to restaurants from New York City to Nantucket Island, and before I knew it, the wheel started to turn and we had repeated orders and new accounts opening every week.
I continued on this path, without taking a salary or remuneration, except for pasta to eat (and thus a pound or two of weight gain). About six months later, it became evident that the two gentlemen from Peekskill, due to personal and financial difficulties, could not continue the business. Without hesitation, I decided to continue on my own. I invested in the equipment needed, found a home with three-phase electricity in Connecticut, and Bongo & Capacci was born. Today I make about 80-90 ravioli, using seasonally fresh organic produce and cheese when possible. I make a thin-walled ravioli that melts in your mouth, without interfering with the filling. This phase of my career was my main entrée. I worked my way through this phase mindfully, purposefully, building my experience in a career choice that just felt right. A choice I felt proud of and saw through from its conception to its potential. Similar to eating a meal, I pushed aside the parts that weren’t working and devoured the parts that were.
Back in 2007, just before the great recession, I found my restaurant business had slowed a bit, and had this idea of selling my ravioli at farmers markets. I began this angle of the business in 2008-2009, and in doing so I found a terrific place to sell my creations to people looking for products that are a step or two above. Selling my products at farmer’s markets has tied my journey together, and has brought Bongo & Capacci to complete fruition. Our customers are loyal in devotion, large in number, and hopefully proclaiming after indulging in a plate of our ravioli, “Gosh, I’m full, but boy was that good!”