LIBERTYVILLE (CBS)— Have you ever wondered how that lasagna or spaghetti is made?
Take one look inside Foulds pasta in Libertyville and you’ll get a lesson in the art of pasta.
“This is very much old world pasta manufacturing. This is how it was done 200 years ago,” said owner Chris Bradley.
Since 1885, the family-owned and operated company has been behind some of our favorite dishes.
“Foulds has been the engine behind some of the largest national brands over the past 128 years including Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Blue Box,” said Jim Barker, Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
Foulds began as a milling company in Cincinnati in 1885.
In 1905, the company moved into a former ladder manufacturing building on Church Avenue in Libertyville. The company now produces products such as macaroni and cheese dinners, egg noodles and spaghetti.
Inside the 180,000-square-foot factory, assembly lines include seven presses for spaghetti, fettuccini, penne, spiral, and much more.
“The noodles in this case come right off the press and go into the drying room. We do about 1,500 pounds per press per hour,” Barker said.
Barker says the average box of pasta takes about three days to make, dry and package.
“From mixing to pressing to the machine drying to the drying in the open air bins in our drying room, moving into the packing machine and then dropping it into a bag, a box, or a bulk case.”
Bradley says the environment is very critical in creating great tasting pasta.
“All our raw materials, all our drying procedures, everything sort of are added to by the climate we have here. Our building is an integral part of the process.”
Foulds employees about 50 people, many who have worked there for decades.
“I’ve been a dryer man for 45 years. I take care of all the drying of the pasta and run the machines downstairs. When I see Foulds on the shelves in grocery stores, I say to myself I made that,” says Bobby Feltner.
As people become more conscious about health and nutrition, the company has also expanded its product to offer pasta rich in fiber and organic whole wheat pastas. The company plans to expand and open a gluten free factory next door.
Barker says consumers’ changing eating habits keep them producing and expanding.
“The pasta business will continue to grow. It’s a wonderful everyday staple of American family life.”
In any given year, Foulds churns out about eight million pounds of pasta.
Its products can be found in stores across the country and internationally. The Foulds brand can be found in independent grocery stores across Chicago.