24 October, 2020, 12:09

Farmers Market Profile: Erin Durband of Pappardelle’s Pasta

Twelve years ago, Erin Durband visited a farmers market in Denver and came across Pappardelle’s Pasta at a booth.

“I saw it for the first time and thought it was the coolest thing ever,” said Durband. “I bought some pasta and took a flyer with me.”

Fast forward ten years and Durband found herself searching for a new opportunity.

“I kept that flyer for ten years in my kitchen drawer. It was always in the back of my mind.”

She took that flyer and made her business a reality, becoming the one person offering Papperdelle’s full time in the state.

Pappardelle’s Pasta is a small, family owned business based in Colorado. The pasta is all made by hand and only available at farmers markets, through partners like Durband.

“I needed the structure where I could have my life and sell a product I could really get behind. It is the greatest balance I’ve ever created for myself.”

What initially attracted her, and what keeps her customers coming back for more every week, is the variety of flavors.

“We take traditional pasta shapes and put flavor into it,” she explains. “It’s all natural, organic and GMO free. The ingredients are sourced through small farms across the country,” Durband explains.

On a typical day at the farmers market, Durband brings approximately 15-20 types of dried pasta, 3-4 prepackaged lasagna flavors and a ravioli or gnocchi.

“The company carries over 140 different flavors, with new ones coming out every year. I try to order all of the new ones so I am constantly carrying something fresh and exciting.”

Being a part of the farmers market community is something Durband loves.

Variety of pasta at Papperdelle's Pasta (Credit: Jennifer Rothschild)

Variety of pasta at Papperdelle’s Pasta (Credit: Jennifer Rothschild)

“I work around some of the hardest working people I have ever been around in my life. The farmers, ranchers, growers, and producers – everyone is so dedicated to their craft. I love the passion everyone carries for what they do and their business.”

Durband’s products occasionally catch customers off guard.

“People come to the market with a preconceived notion that they will just find fruits and vegetables. They usually stop and are intrigued by the flavors.”

In addition, Durband always encourages people to shop the entire market.

“The pasta ties the meal together, so I send people to different vendors to get the produce, the breads, the oils, the meats. When they leave, they can have a complete meal from start to finish.”

Durband’s most popular flavor is Hatch Green Chile. Other popular flavors include anything that incorporates garlic and tomato.

“We all grew up eating plain pasta, so people tend to stick with flavors they know,” she says. “Once they start coming back, they tend to get more adventurous.”

Durband recommends the Goan Curry Angel Hair to spice things up.

“I was really afraid of it at first because people either love or hate curry. I have customers come back every week for it now. It is surprisingly delicious.”

One question Durband often gets about her pasta is what makes it so different.

“Customers will see the price and notice it is higher than what they might see at the store. This pasta is all handmade, using old school Italian equipment. It feels better in your mouth and all of the ingredients are high quality,” she continued. “When you shop with me, you are not only supporting the family run Pappardelle’s Pasta, but you are supporting my own local small business. It’s important to shop locally when you can. It’s something I believe in and encourage others in our community to also believe in.”

Visit Pappardelle’s Pasta at all three Heirloom Market locations on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as at St. Philip’s Plaza on Saturday and Sunday and Thursdays at Santa Cruz River Market. Keep up with Dunbar and Pappardelle’s Pasta on Facebook.

Jennifer Rothschild is an aspiring freelance food writer by night.

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