Young talent from West of England Colleges and Universities helps pasta making business grow

Author
Fay Daniels
Marketing Manager - Contracts | Business West
19th May 2022

Pasta Uliana is a small business, offering pasta making classes and events to customers who want to learn how to make fresh artisan pasta. Owner Federico, who grew up in Italy, started the business in 2017 and runs all the courses himself from the Pasta Laboratory in Camden, near the centre of Bath.

The idea of an events business, sharing the art of making fresh pasta with the public, developed from Federico initially selling produce at markets, on the side of a full time job. This eventually progressed to offering fresh pasta for sale at his premises in Bath, with the idea of classes as a secondary income. However, once the pandemic hit in 2020, Federico decided to change direction and with classes at the forefront of his plan, developed Pasta Uliana into the events business it is today.

“Members of the general public can book onto a class, or we hold special events for private groups, such as corporate days, hen parties and birthday celebrations. It has started to take off.”

With ambitions to grow the business and an idea that seemed to be gaining traction, Federico sought out the help of the Workforce for the Future Programme. 

“When I initially got put in touch with Claire for advice, I was mainly looking for help and support in putting together a strong business plan that I could present to investors or banks to help expand my business. I was also keen to make connections with local colleges and universities, something I had been trying to do myself without much luck, to see if they were interested in working with and supporting a local brand, with marketing and taking the business forward. As a one man band, all the operations of the business is down to me, so help from an intern or work experience was something I thought the business could benefit from.”

After an initial consultation meeting, Business Skills Advisor Claire Bedding, very quickly set Federico up with contacts from Access Creative College in Bristol and Bristol University, who, via work experience placements and internships, found students who could work with the business and help with specific projects. These included support with putting a marketing plan together, detailed research and offering social media expertise, which in turn gained the company more exposure and followers and gave Federico the chance to look into new locations for holding private events.  The young people proved themselves indispensable in the business, taking on professional briefs to support Federico with the skills that he needed to help him move the business forward.

Federico commented, “I had heard of internships before, but I guess I didn’t think there would be opportunity for a small business like mine to benefit from one – I assumed it was just something for larger businesses to get involved with.”

Claire also helped Federico get in contact with Bath College and he has now built a relationship up with the education provider, to a stage where he provides on campus talks and hopes, in the future, to be able to offer catering students the opportunity to work alongside him in the business.

Claire commented, “Working with Federico has been a complete joy. Through the consultation process we quickly got to the detail of how the Workforce for the Future Programme could support his business aims and he was quick to respond to suggestions which meant we could action initiatives efficiently and get him what he needed. Federico now has relationships with a University and two Colleges in the region and this is exactly the sort of relationship legacy we wanted to create for businesses and young people in our area; employers who need skills and talent offering great opportunities to their future talent pipeline, ensuring young people have great onward employment opportunities!”

Pasta Uliana has big plans for the future, including moving into a bigger premises which will allow Federico to host bigger groups and offer a dining experience afterwards. 

 “Working with Claire and the Workforce for the Future Programme has definitely put me on the right path to meet my future business goals and given me connections that I struggled to make myself. As a small business, it’s also been great to have Claire as a sounding board for advice, but also to bounce ideas off, which you don’t always get the opportunity to do when you work on your own. I would recommend to everybody – it is an incredible resource for businesses to be able to use.”

To find out more about Pasta Uliana and to book a class with them, you can visit their website.

To find out more about how Business West can help via the Workforce for the Future Programme visit our webpage. 



Business West is delivering Workforce for the Future in collaboration with other partners and the West of England Combined Authority.

For more information on Workforce for the Future, please visit the West of England Growth Hub. The Growth Hub is the West of England Combined Authority’s dedicated business support service which offers free, one-to-one advice and guidance for SMEs.

The West of England Workforce for the Future programme has received £4m of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

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