Making It: Buon Appetito with Fresh Pasta from Flour
MAKER: Chef Matthew Mytro
BUSINESS: Flour Pasta Company
EARLY CAREER PATH: Chef Matthew Mytro started learning his way around the kitchen when he was in high school. “I had two little brothers, and I would cook for them, and I really enjoyed the process,” Mytro said. “So I decided I wanted to be a chef.” His first cooking job was at a Friendly’s Restaurant, and he continued to learn through reading. “I sold my turntables and all my records, and bought cookbooks. So that was kind of the way I learned how to be a chef, then I ended up translating that to pasta as well.”
LANDING AT FLOUR: Local Cleveland Chef Paul Minnillo opened Flour Restaurant in Moreland Hills eight years ago; six months after the opening, Mytro joined the team after having worked in several other restaurants and resorts. He didn’t have any experience with pasta, yet. “We were making all the pasta by hand. Luckily I had ‘The Pasta Guy’, DJ, who’s been a good friend of mine since high school.” DJ came to the restaurant at the same time as Mytro. “We learned together, and changed our protocols and recipes.”
EXPANDING THE BRAND: When discussions began about how to grow the Flour brand, an obvious way was to open another restaurant, but with so many restaurants opening in the Cleveland area, the team wanted to take a different path. “[The pasta making] kind of happened organically, we didn’t plan on this happening. We purchased an extruder, and the simplicity of it was kind of exciting, and we just fell in love with it,” Mytro explained. “DJ and myself, we talked about it, like ‘Hey, what do you think about turning this into a business?’” And Flour Pasta Company got its start.
KEEPING THE MOMENTUM: Going into its third year of business, Flour Pasta Company keeps growing, with no plans of stopping anytime soon. At the company’s start, the pasta was made at Flour Restaurant. A few months ago, pasta production moved to a larger facility down the road with multiple extruding machines that can output up to 300 pounds of pasta per hour! “From where we started, on that little tabletop machine to where we’ve gotten to now, definitely to see it grow is really exciting,” Chef Mytro said with a smile. “This is definitely my baby. It means a lot to me.”