We love to showcase these talented professionals and bring their stories to you!
Today, we are featuring Kirk Caliendo, owner of The Pasta Kitchen. Sit back, enjoy the read and be sure to reach out to these business leaders and get to know them better! When we work together, it brings our community closer and we all succeed!
Collierville Chamber of Commerce
The Pasta Kitchen
What got you started in this business?
I started working in family restaurants in my teens in New York. Since I come from a big Italian family, those old recipes I learned to cook growing up inspired this menu. My wife Kristen and I make fresh pasta every day and we put a lot of care into the sauces, soups and desserts we make from scratch.
The Pasta Kitchen Concept is one that my father conceptualized for years. He always wanted to open a pasta buffet! Fast-casual dining is so popular with families for dinner and busy professionals for lunch. As parents, my wife and I appreciate the convenience of fresh and fast service when we dine with our son! The customization of a "build your own bowl" is a great way to make a perfect combination for every guest.
In the 90’s, I developed a daiquiri concept in California and Florida which took me here to Memphis. I found a unique opportunity to manage the food and beverage services at the Peabody Hotel and later, The Flying Saucer. The restaurant business has always been in my blood! My time is split between The Pasta Kitchen and The Flying Saucer, where I’ve been a manager for 19 years. My wife Kristen runs the day to day business as the General Manager.
When did you open the business and how has it evolved or adapted since the business launch?
The Pasta Kitchen opened in April 2016 and it’s like an Italian version of a “build a burrito” counter service concept. Each customer selects the pasta, sauce, protein and vegetables they prefer and we make it fast and fresh on the spot! We listened to our customer suggestions since opening the business and have increased the portion sizes, all while keeping the price at $8.99 to start. We’ve also added more of our delicious bread for guests to enjoy!
How is your business unique? What kind of experience can customers enjoy by doing business with you and your team?
If you’re only used to boxed pasta, you need to experience the difference! We were the first restaurant in the area to introduce pasta made from scratch daily and the only restaurant currently in Collierville to offer this.
You can add a pound of vegetables to a bowl of handmade pasta topped with a sauce made from scratch for $8.99. You cannot find this anywhere in the Memphis area! We love to treat our customers like family and we’re only happy if everyone is happy and full!
Why is Collierville a great place for your business? What does it mean to YOU personally to do business in here in Collierville?
I’m so blessed to have Kristen’s dedication to our business and family. She graduated from Houston High School and now manages an amazing team, most of which are local Collierville high school students. When you dine with us, you are supporting Collierville families and giving a BIG boost to our local economy!
We strongly support shopping local. It makes a big difference in how we make our buying decisions. Instead of shopping online or spending at big box stores, we support local business owners who are raising their families, just like us. Collierville is our community. We wanted to start our first restaurant close to home and feed the community we live in. Our motto is: “Our family feeding yours.”
What are your favorite things about Collierville? What makes our town special to you?
I love the feel of "Main Street Collierville" and the small town atmosphere we have here. In a small town, everyone knows everyone. Since opening, I have grown to respect the people who support us. It’s heartwarming to realize how much people care about a family they have known for such a short time. We have truly been welcomed by our customers. They’ve become family to us!
Tell us about your story! Family, interests and hobbies.
We’ve always enjoyed traveling. Kristen and I have been all over the world. We love food and trying different kinds. Since launching this business, we may not have much time for that now, but a sense of travel and adventure is part of who we are. We are lucky to own a restaurant so close to our son’s school and activities! He loves soccer and basketball, so there’s always a practice or game to attend. As owners, we rely on a flexible schedule and our wonderful staff so we can be active, involved parents!
Is there a nonprofit organization or group that holds a special place in your heart?
My sister is a cancer survivor and I am truly thankful every day. It is our duty to make sure others are aware of how they can support research and get the help patients need. As a family, we support the Susan G. Komen non-profit organization. When you donate to Komen, your gift helps save lives and offers hope to people fighting breast cancer.
Additional thoughts or parting words for our readers?
Eat in Collierville! Shop local!
We want to be a part of your family dining experience! Kids eat free at The Pasta Kitchen on Tuesdays! Enjoy one free kids meal per adult entrée (Kids 12 and under). We also feature Wine Down Wednesdays ($2 wine refills until close). CLICK here for our signature dishes and full menu.
Busy families have been ordering family style meals to go and lasagna trays! We’ve created the perfect solution to your busy Holiday season and would love for you to give us a try for those family meals.
Pasta Kitchen website: http\://www.thepastakitchen.net/
Owners: Kirk and Kristen Caliendo
875 W Poplar Ave #31, Collierville, TN 38017
Phone: (901) 316-5119
Open Monday-Saturday 11am-10pm