You thought their last name was going to be Pozza, didn’t you?
In the summer of 2005, Lucius and Alison Mhoon purchased Pozza’s Pasta from Mr. Felix Pozza of Tonitown. Mr. Pozza was a businessman and grocer in Tontitown, Arkansas, who started selling Pozza’s Pasta in 1971. The handmade Italian pasta actually has over 100 years of tradition and whether you realize it or not, it is an icon in Northwest Arkansas.
The Mhoon’s background in Italian pasta is solid. The great aunt of Lucius owned the Venesian Inn in Tontitown after her father left it to her. His mother is Susan of Susan’s Restaurant in Springdale, a charming diner that has welcomed locals and travelers for decades. Lucius runs the daily operations at Susan’s restaurant and his known far and wide for greeting guests with a friendly smile and engaging conversation.
Since the inception of Susan’s Restaurant, Mr. Pozza was their only pasta supplier. When Lucius found out that they couldn’t get the noodles any longer because Mr. Pozza closed his business, he and his wife thought they would just buy the equipment and make their own noodles. After looking into it, they realized the whole company was for sale. So, they purchased it in 2005 and kept the name and the handmade tradition alive.
The pasta is made with the EXACT same recipe and handmade in the same fashion Lucius’s ancestors used when they came to America from Italy. There are just two ingredients: all-purpose flour and whole fresh eggs. Their hand-cut noodles are flat, not tubular, so they absorb sauce. Every bite is delicious.
Wednesday and Thursday’s are production days at their off-site kitchen just blocks away from the restaurant. They produce from 6:00am to 2:00pm, starting with the dough making first thing, running the dough through the roller, cutting, and hanging it to dry. It takes about twenty-four hours for the entire process.
You’ll often find Lucius, Alison, and workers from the restaurant working on these days producing enough pasta for Susan’s Restaurant, Guido’s Pizza, and Bariola’s Pizza. You can also purchase their pasta at Blackboard Grocery and Eatery, all Harp’s and Price Cutter Stores in Northwest Arkansas, Allen’s market in Bella Vista, and Dimes Meat Market in Springdale. For my out-of-towners, yes, yes you can purchase Pozza’s Pasta online.
Lucius and Alison are the real deal and this is their passion project. Alison summed it all up perfectly to me, “We are really proud of our little Italian (tontitalian) community. We love continuing the traditions of our ancestors and passing a taste of our heritage to the next generation. We feel like the product we put out there is a representation of us and our food philosophies as a family. We believe food should contain minimal ingredients, be made in a thoughtful manner, and of course taste delicious.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Happy pasta eating and supporting our local gems.
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.