West-End pasta shop closing doors

Western Henrico’s Cavanna Pasta will cease operating a stand-alone pasta shop by the end of the year.

Jonny Cavanna, who has lost money almost every month on the pasta store since opening in the summer of 2004, said he is looking for an industrial location where he can continue to prepare food but avoid the rent of a shop on John Rolfe Parkway.

He initially opened there thinking that Henrico County would extend the Parkway to Broad Street, which would make the location a hotspot. Instead he gets almost no walk-in traffic because there is no connection to Short Pump.

“The parkway will not reach us in our lifetime,” he said. “I don’t even care at this point anyway.”

He will employ fewer people at a new location. He currently sells his food at farmer’s markets and at one Ukrop’s location. Owning a business has been a lousy experience, he said when reached by phone yesterday. “This has been as painful and negative as it possibly could be.”

“I certainly would never want to repeat anything like that again.”

I wrote about his struggles last summer, when he told me that he spent around $300,000 outfitting the interior and the kitchen with the finest equipment.

“I could have just painted and done a more thrifty startup. I dug a hole. Do you know how fast you spend $300,000 on fire-retardant walls, granite surfaces and county fees?”

When we spoke last summer, he was only selling $200 worth of food a day. He needed to sell between $600 and $800 just to break even.
Aaron Kremer is the BizSense editor. Please send business news tips to [email protected]

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[…] local business, Cavanna Pasta, was profiled last year in Richmond BizSense. At the time, owner Jonny Cavanna claimed the store would have to close by […]

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His name is spelled Gianni Cavanna.