Bear River Pasta Co. epitomizes “buy fresh, buy local”

IN THE OLD DAYS IF YOU WANTED groceries, shoes or clothes, you could amble down Main Street and find what you were looking for, rather than hunt for a parking spot in a crowded mall, anchored by a mega supermarket.

Historic downtown Grass Valley offers that old-fashioned shopping experience. Take Bear River Pasta Co., for example.

Opened just over a year ago, the store offers fresh pasta and sauces, a deli, gourmet “take-out” or “eat in” items and imported Italian goods. “We’re making fresh pasta, sauce or ravioli every day,” says owner Carl Brenner.

Adds his partner, Theresa McGuire: “We make wholesome meals for families who don’t have time to cook.”
The husband-and-wife business is taking off, thanks to their “think fresh, buy local” approach, friendly customer service and community involvement.

The couple caters meals for school gatherings, participates in a program to teach youth about small businesses, and dresses up in Victorian costumes at the town’s Cornish Christmas celebration.

Theresa co-founded the well-loved Santa Cruz Pasta Factory before she and Carl moved to the foothills to help care for her aging parents. Her pasta was served at famous restaurants, including the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite.

Bear River’s pasta is made with 100 percent semolina flour. No preservatives or artificial flavors are used. Their sauces are made from fresh ingredients.

In springtime, the store features imported Italian Easter goodies. In summer, their gelato is a big seller, as is their out- door patio for “to-go” dining. They also plan to carry Italian and local wines. There are some award-winning, Italian-style wines in the foothills, such as Montoliva.

Customers appreciate the couple’s generosity and personal touch. “In the old days, that’s how people shopped,” says Carl. “It’s fun to be able to greet your customers by name.”

Bear River Pasta Co.
109 Bank St., Grass Valley
530-274-1760, BearRiverPasta

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