by Alana Smith, Outreach and Front End Teams
Katie Emlaw Hinton founded the Bellingham Pasta Co. in 2007.
She is proud to run a zero-waste facility, where even the pasta’s packaging is derived from corn and entirely compostable.
Every ingredient in her fresh pasta is pronounceable, and all the wheat used in the pasta is unenriched and non-GMO.
Photos by Wyeth Stiles and Victory Ralston
The Early Years
When Katie Emlaw Hinton founded the Bellingham Pasta Co. in 2007, she had no food production experience. Instead, she had a passion for fresh pasta and had been making triannual pilgrimages to Portland, Oregon, to replenish her personal supply when she decided to skip the commute and hang out her own shingle.
She taught herself the business in six months and began selling her own brand of pasta to local retailers and restaurants.
There were hiccups along the way—the Italian-made extrusion machines she used were too small for the scale of her operation—but she figured it out. She rented time from La Fiamma’s commissary kitchen until 2010 when she took on partners and opened her own restaurant. Three years later, she bought out her partners and continued to run the restaurant until it closed in 2016.
The Business Expands
That year, Katie decided to expand her wholesaling business. Bellingham Pasta Co. relocated to a bigger production facility on Marine Drive and joined the Puget Sound Food Hub when the Hub began accepting value-added products.
Now Bellingham Pasta Co. distributes more than 30 different cuts and flavors of pasta across western Washington.
The varieties of fresh pasta made by Bellingham Pasta Co. are as beautiful as they are delicious! Every batch of pasta is handcrafted and delivered to our stores.
Choose from nine varieties: Linguine, Lemon Black Pepper Linguine, Roasted Red Pepper Linguine, Fettucine, Spinach Fettuccine, Gemelli, Shells, and Lasagne Sheets.
Quality Regional Ingredients
The key to the company’s exciting growth is the simplicity of its products and the quality of its ingredients.
The unenriched semolina flour that Bellingham Pasta Co. uses gives its noodles their distinct, vibrant color and can be sourced to the precise acre in Alberta where the coarse grain is grown. The wheat necessary to mill semolina is not grown west of the Rockies; for this reason, especially, Katie is pleased to have met the farmers that make her business possible.
Because Bellingham Pasta Co. uses 3,000 eggs a week and no single local farm can meet that demand, the company’s eggs are sourced from Snohomish County.
Flour and eggs account for nearly half the ingredient list on any package of Bellingham Pasta Co. pasta. A light dusting of brown rice flour coats the hand-packaged pasta to keep it from sticking to itself—aside from water and sometimes spinach or roasted red pepper—that’s it.
Every ingredient is pronounceable
Every ingredient is pronounceable, and all the wheat used in the pasta is unenriched and non-GMO. Katie is proud to run a zero-waste facility, where even the pasta’s packaging is derived from corn and entirely compostable.
Fresh is Best
Katie is excited to teach people not to be intimidated by fresh pasta, which has a very different texture and cook time compared to its dry counterpart.
In that spirit, Katie shared her vegetarian Bellingham Pasta Co. Lasagna recipe with us.
Behind the Scenes
From the unenriched semolina flour to finished product. Each batch of Bellingham Pasta Co. pasta is handcrafted in Bellingham.