April Field, founder of the tomato sauce company The Curvy Italian, isn’t just a sauce creator. She’s on a mission to infuse the essence of Italy into dinner tables across America. This New Jersey native turned “sauce boss” is here to give you a dash of dolce vita in every saucy bite.
Field’s journey into her saucy empire began during the challenging times of COVID. While initially exploring real estate, she realized her heart lay in entrepreneurship. “I was sitting on my couch meditating one day and the idea just came to me,” Field said. She decided to create homemade tomato sauce inspired by her Italian heritage. As a first-generation Italian American, she was determined to carry on her family’s legacy through the family recipes.
Armed with a background in pharmaceutical sales, Field tactically earned a spot at Little Italy Mercato, a well-known farmers market in San Diego, California. “I would cook up my sauce during the week at a commercial space called Park 734 Kitchen and then bring the sauce to the farmers market on the weekends,” Field said. The Curvy Italian made its debut in January 2022, becoming one of the first Italian food stands at the farmers market.
Securing a spot at Little Italy Mercato was an excellent opportunity for Field to test branding and pricing. This early exposure to the public made her a known commodity. Subsequently, while at the commercial kitchen, the concept of co-packaging emerged. After much research, Field found Burning Rivers Co. based in Cleveland, Ohio, which helped her scale production and expand her reach. The transition from farmers market to direct-to-consumer sales marked a turning point, leading to the creation of The Curvy Italian website.
The secret behind The Curvy Italian’s success lies in Field’s commitment to authenticity. Her dedication to using San Marzano D.O.P. (protected designation of origin) tomatoes cultivated in the soil of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy, sets her sauces apart. “San Marzano tomatoes are the Ferrari of tomatoes,” explains Field. “They are low in acidity and naturally sweet. I let the tomatoes cook for themselves.”
The Curvy Italian’s sauces are not just delicious but also health-conscious, catering to vegan and keto-friendly diets. The Curvy Italian currently offers three flavors – Chunky Marinara, Meat Sauce, and Sassy Sauce – a popular flavor made with banana peppers and Calabrian chili flakes. Field’s commitment to quality ingredients free from preservatives and added sugar aligns with her upbringing, which was influenced by the Mediterranean food pyramid.
For aspiring female entrepreneurs, Field’s advice is clear – embrace your strengths and passions. In a world where fear can hinder progress, recognizing one’s strengths can become the driving force to turn ideas into reality.
As The Curvy Italian continues to flourish, Field envisions a future where the brand expands into hotels, restaurants and other major wholesalers. Social media has played a significant role in the company’s growth through collaborating with influencers on Instagram, but Field hopes to reach a broader audience through streaming service ad campaigns in 2024.
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