Carosello Pasta feels at home in Dexter

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Carosello Pasta owners Mike Carosello and Chelsea Lisiecki. photo by Lonnie Huhman

Carosello Pasta pastificio & market has become a popular destination for those who have an appetite for fresh pasta.

The market, which is located in downtown Dexter at 3126 Broad Street, opened in April and it’s become a go-to location for many in the community. The Sun Times News (STN) reached out to owners Chelsea Lisiecki and Mike Carosello to see how things are going since opening their shop.

“Our little storefront is keeping us busier than we ever imagined,” they said. “Dexter has really surprised us with its appetite for fresh pasta, and we’re here for it!”

Their plan “was to run full steam ahead with wholesaling our dried pasta, but the fresh pasta case has really become the cornerstone of our business.”

“We love being in this community - our patrons and fellow business owners have been wildly supportive,” Chelsea and Mike said of Dexter. “We got our start right here in Dexter at the farmers market in 2019, so it feels great to have a permanent home in town.”

STN asked them to describe Carosello.

“First and foremost, we are a pasta company,” they answered. “We make traditional Italian bronze extruded pastas using 100 percent organic semolina from durum grown in the United States. No frills, just small-batch pasta made the way Mike learned in Italy. But we’re also a small market offering quite a bit more than pasta. We have everything you need to round out your pasta dish - like olive oils, local and imported Italian cheeses (Parmigiano Reggiano, of course), organically grown produce from nearby farms, and fresh bread on the weekends.”

They said, “As small producers ourselves, we’ve been intentional about bringing in products to support our fellow Michigan makers, so you can also find local honey, jams, chocolates, baking mixes and much more in our pantry. Additionally, we’ve brought in some of those Italian specialties that are harder to find - like truffle products, farro, risotto rice, mostarda, Castelvetrano olives…I think there’s something for everyone here, even if pasta isn’t your thing. What you won’t find in our market are artificial flavors/sweeteners, colors, or preservatives.”

STN also asked them what makes them unique…

“What makes us unique is exactly what makes us traditional,” they said. “We simply try to honor our ingredients as best we can to create simple, authentic food that tastes exceptional. Many of us have become so detached from our food and where it comes from. So, we’re trying to create an environment here in Dexter where our customers can get to know their pasta producer. We like having a small storefront where we can connect with our customers and speak to every product we carry. Food connects us in a way that not many other things can.”

And it’s working. 

“Fresh pasta has been our number one seller of course, especially Gigli, which translates to ‘Lilies’ in Italian,” they described the customer favorite. “The hollow center just fills with sauce so nicely.”

And speaking of sauce, they said their “homemade tomato sauce is also very popular.”

“We made a batch one day for something fun, but quickly realized it needed to be a staple in our store,” they explained. “So now we have it available every day in our fresh case. I’d say our average shopper grabs a pound or more of pasta, our sauce or another jar from the shelf, and an item or two from the pantry or cooler. And we’re thrilled about it.”

Thinking of their customers and Dexter, STN asked them if there was anything in particular they want the community to know about them.

“We’d be remiss to not acknowledge Mike’s dad, Louie Carosello, as he ultimately provided the push for us to scale our pasta company from a small cottage food business at the farmers market to what it is today,” Chelsea answered. “Louie always said ‘Be good. Have fun.’ and we think these are simple words to live by (a keen eye has spotted them on our packaging and in the store). We lost Louie to cancer in early 2020 and really wish he could be standing behind the counter with us.”

To learn more about Carosello, go to https://www.carosellopasta.com/ or visit them at 3126 Broad Street.

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