CHESHIRE — Angela Massimino’s recipe for meat sauce is one passed down three generations, one her mother taught her and one she has taught her own children.
It’s one of the sauces that she’ll make for family gatherings, spending three hours on a Sunday putting it together. Friends and family liked it so much they urged her to start her own business for years.
In July, the sauce went on the market and is available in about a dozen locations across the state.
“It was really exciting,” Massimino said about seeing the first jars on a grocery store shelf.
The name for Massimino’s sauce – Angela’s Kitchen Meat Sauce – was prompted by a renovation to her kitchen about five years ago.
On the first Christmas after the work was finished, her daughter-in-law gave her a plaque that read “Angela's Kitchen.”
The name also works if she is able to market more products. A marinara and tomato basil sauce are at the top of her list.
“I’ve got a million ideas,” Massimino said.
The 56-year-old worked in banking most of her career, and is now a part-time caretaker. The new business is a family endeavor, with her husband Keith, also 56, working as a partner and one of her daughters helping with taste tests at local markets.
“This basically came about after I lost my sister,” Massimino said. “I said we're going to do something, we're going to change our lives… You gotta have dream.”
Massimino’s sister Anita died of cancer at the age of 51. Soon after she was taking the first steps to producing the sauce commercially, with the whole process lasting almost a year. She has fond memories of making sauces and other food with her sister.
She said it took many tests to get the recipe just right to be shelf ready, especially since she was determined not add GMOs, extra sugar or citric acid.
“It's not a jar of sauce, it's sauce in a jar,” Keith Massimino said.
The sauce is produced at Onofrio’s Ultimate Foods in New Haven. Massimino said she’s there for every production run.
“The same way that I make it (at home) is the same way they make it,” she said.
Angela’s Kitchen Meat Sauce can be found at Tops Market in Plantsville, Oliver’s Supermarket in Prospect, Zentek Farms in Cheshire and more locations across the state.