Noodles Wanted Statewide: A Hibbing Business Thrives

By KBJR News 1

March 6, 2012 Updated Mar 6, 2012 at 9:44 AM CST

HIBBING, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---One of the oldest family owned bakery's in Minnesota is increasing its production to meet statewide demands.

The Sunrise Deli in Hibbing wrapped up its largest order, about 3,000 packages of noodles Monday.

At this point in his life, he thought he'd be retired.

"The business is growing and like I say, acceptance is a very big part of it," Tom Forti, Owner of Sunrise Deli said.

That statewide acceptance for noodles is something Tom Forti and his wife Mary never expected when they transformed the Lybba Theater once owned by Bob Dylan's uncles into the Sunrise Deli.

Now, numerous varieties of pastas are sold in farmers markets and in more than 50 grocery stores statewide.

"Any of the mistakes we've made in making noodles from them cracking, not drying perfect, from them sinking in their bags," Mary Forti said. "Those are some of the obstacles we've conquered now, and if they aren't right, we put them in white bags and they go for a dollar."

Owners attribute success of the third and fourth generation family business to a tight-knit bunch of employees and trial and error.

For now, the sunrise Deli is open five hours each day offering hungry people a place to get a hot meal.

"They have good food," John Novak, a long-time customer said. "People seem to be satisfied, they come in quite often."

"They have a lot of specialty things that nobody else has," Pat Roddy another customer said. "And every day its something different so you get a little variety."

"Pasties, pot pies, some tuna macaroni and all that variety from here," Tom Petrick, another customer said. "I like 'em all."

Proposals expanding the wholesale business nationwide are still up in the air at this point. But plans to keep up with the immediate demand are well underway.

"We are getting a new extruder which is a noodle maker," Forti said. "Next year my wife and I are going to Italy to look for a new ravioli machine."

All ingredients used in production are locally sourced, hand made and individually packaged.

Jennifer Walch
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