How This Jewish Business Owner and Mother Gets Dinner on the Table: Tips from Chavi, Founder of NY Pasta
Moshe and Chavi Katzman launched the company New York Pasta Authority to bring gourmet-quality frozen prepared pastas to the kosher market.
We sat down with Chavi to find out how she manages her business (helping make other families’ dinner times easier!), with her own family life.
Hi Chavi! Can you tell us about how you started your business?
It’s a long story... this was our third business try, but here we are with NY Pasta, 21 years later, baruch Hashem (thank G-d). When we were newlyweds 26 years ago, I was working for a non-profit organization, and my husband was learning in Kollel. We really needed a way to help supplement our income.
Moshe always wanted to be in the food industry, but I refused to open a restaurant since it's not conducive to family life. I wanted to be set financially, but not at the expense of my family. I wanted to ensure that we would be there for our children, and I wanted to be able to see my husband every day!
We tried two different fish manufacturing companies, but they both went belly-up. We made a contact at those companies that hooked us up with pasta machines... and the rest is history.
My conditions were met, baruch Hashem, and we have been working together side by side ever since!
What’s it like working together with your husband?
People always ask me how a married couple can work together day in and day out! It has been a real blessing for us bH. The only issue we have is that he wants the air conditioning on in the office, and I need the heat!
How do you manage work and family life?
Being really organized is key! And trying not to stress the little things – but I'm still a work in progress with that.
After a long day of work, I literally walk into the house as my youngest gets off the bus. She wants my full attention, and it's hard to start supper, set the table, do homework, play a game, read a story etc. all at once.
When my kids were little, I would cook all my dinners once a month and freeze them in portions. That way, the only thing that was left to do every day was just to make a salad and side dish, which was really quick. Now, most of my kids are older, so I just plan in advance what I'll be making for dinners, and I choose easy things that I don't have to slave in the kitchen for – tacos, salmon... and of course RAVIOLI!
I'll also take the easy way out now, without feeling guilty: I'll buy the ready-breaded shnitzel, so it cuts my prep time in half. I'll make tacos instead of meatballs. This leaves me more time with the kids, without the stress in the kitchen.
Plus, my husband is really a huge help – I really couldn't do it all without him.
As many families return home from all their summer activities and can you share some ideas for quick and delicious weeknight dinners during the school year?
Nowadays, we mothers really have a lot on our plates. Work, family, housekeeping... No one wants to be slaving in the kitchen after a long day.
That's why our ravioli and tortellini items are perfect for busy families. Our pasta is really delicious and easy to make! Just boil water, and seven minutes later you have a gourmet meal! I love bringing these products to people and hearing from customers who love it too. I hear from mothers who say their kids didn’t like pasta until they tried ours!
Which of your products is the biggest seller?
Our best-selling Ravioli – Cheese is #1 and #2 Pizza is catching up very quickly…could become #1, we’re watching it closely. We love to make our Pizza Ravioli with a creamy alfredo sauce with three ingredients, heavy cream, whipped cream cheese and garlic! We use only ingredients you can pronounce that you can be happy to feed your kids.
Can you share some recipes with us that you can make with your pastas?
- Tortellini in Tomato-Spinach Sauce by Faigy Grossman
- Ravioli in Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce by Sosha Elias
- Ravioli with Vodka Sauce by Rivki Kleiman
- Pizza Ravioli with Garlic White Sauce by Victoria Dwek