When Springfield resident Leah Grant left her Human Services management job in 2021, she had no idea that she was about to grow a following for her homemade artisanal pasta.

Leah, a home care provider who is homeschooling her son, started making pasta as a way to teach fine motor skills, coordination, and teamwork. After sharing photos on personal social media, requests for orders followed, and she quickly recognized a niche to be filled.

Leah immersed herself in pasta: she joined online groups, watched videos, and asked a lot of questions of experienced pasta makers, working up to 14 hours a day to learn how best to adapt recipes and properly dry product. “I threw away a lot of flour!” she remarks. She researched and purchased pasta-making tools and dehydrators, and familiarized herself with Vermont cottage food laws to ensure all products met standards for consumer safety.

Leah is particularly proud of her gluten-free offerings, for which she receives a lot of interest. “Most commercial gluten-free pasta is tasteless – it needs a lot of sauce and breaks down so easily, and it can be expensive,” says Leah. “People have been so thankful that my pasta is not only flavorful but is affordable. And I’m happy to be able to provide something that many people wouldn’t typically be able to access.”

As for the name Imperfect Pasta? “As much as I try to get it uniform, there’s no way I’m going to get it to look like boxed pasta, or for the gluten-free pasta to not crack a little bit,” she explains. “That’s just the nature of homemade pasta.”

A newspaper article with a photo of a pasta maker holds bags of flour