The Pasta Maker
Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta and Market Celebrates 10 Years of Bringing Homemade Italian Flavor to Indy
Photographer: Michael Durr
Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta and Market is now in its 10th year of offering something truly unique to Broad Ripple Village.
You won’t find anything quite like it in the city — it’s part retail market, part wholesaler, part walk-in daytime eatery and part private chef’s dinner destination. Owners Rosa and Tony Hanslits say it’s just such diversity that has made their establishment a local hit.
Back in 2007, Rosa and Tony decided to try selling some of their own homemade pastas at a few local farmers markets, naming their product Nicole-Taylor’s after the middle names of their daughters Ashley and Katherine. As a long-time local chef previously with Peter’s Restaurant, 14 West and Woodland Country Club, Tony was looking for a food-related hobby to undertake with Rosa, having recently closed the doors to their Broad Ripple-based Italian eatery Tavola di Tosa.
They soon began selling out every week, nearly overtaxing the small pasta maker they used to crank out their products. Two seasons later the couple realized the demand was simply too great to continue without their own production facility and retail store, and soon found a spot on East 54th Street from which to operate.
“Broad Ripple is our neighborhood, and we live a few minutes from the store,” says Rosa, a native of Reggio Calabria, Italy, who grew up in South Bend and went to the same grade school as Tony. “We realized it was a fun, up-and-coming area to be in.”
Rosa and Tony began offering additional retail products including sauces, breads and condiments with their pastas upon opening and eventually expanded to include a daytime dining space where they offer soups, sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
“About 85 percent of what we sell we make in-house, and most of the rest we try to import from Italy or other places in Europe to bring that element to it,” Rosa says. “And then we have some local products on the shelves too, which is very important to us.”
By day, the large butcher block table in the kitchen is used for production purposes, and on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings it serves as a chef’s table at which parties from eight to 10 people are treated to a private four-course dinner cooked by Tony.
“We’ve done the dinners for nine years and we’ve sold out every year — this year we sold out for 2019 in about an hour and a half,” Rosa says. “Tony talks to each client for each dinner that we do, and then makes up the four-course menu based on their likes, dislikes and any food restrictions. He likes to do seasonal things, and every single menu is different.”
These days you’ll find 20 to 25 pastas of various shapes and flavors available at Nicole-Taylor’s daily, and the front retail space also displays meats, cheeses, sauces, oils, sodas, breads, cookies and more.
In true mom-and-pop form, Nicole-Taylor’s even offers special lasagna orders around Christmas time for which customers can bring in their own casserole dishes to be filled with Rosa and Tony’s own creations par-cooked.
The Hanslits’ staff of 10 includes three pasta makers and a wholesale sales account executive, and Nicole-Taylor’s current wholesale clients include Harry and Izzy’s, Spoke and Steele, Peterson’s, Mesh, Cobblestone in Zionsville and more.
“We try to bring a personal touch to what we do,” Rosa adds. “We know people’s names and we know about their families, and they know ours. We’ve been in Broad Ripple for 35 years now and it feels like home, and so much of our clientele lives here.”
When asked what her favorite pasta is among the dozens and dozens of selections her establishment makes every day, Rosa says she likes to keep it basic.
“I love linguini with a simple marinara and basil sauce — that’s it,” she says. “It’s not too thin but not too thick, so you get a nice bite that doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of the sauce.”
Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta and Market is located at 1134 East 54th Street, Studio C. You can call 317-257-7374 or visit them online at nicoletaylorspasta.com for more information.