We have been making what we believe to be the finest quality fresh pasta in the country since 1929 after my Grandfather moved to London from Italy. Our passion for pasta is highlighted throughout our rich history.
We’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings. Through a combination of hard work, genuine knowledge and inspiring heritage, we have gained an enviable reputation for the finest fresh pasta and gourmet range of products that have stood the test of time.
It all started when Luigi Ugo left his home in Tortona, Italy in 1921, aged just 14 years old, and came to London to begin work in a grocery shop. With no wages, just board, lodgings and a daily supply of flour and eggs, he made fresh pasta by hand and was soon selling it to local hotels and restaurants.
Luigi's hard work paid off, demand from customers grew and in 1929 he opened his first shop at 5 Gerrard St, Soho. Business was good and soon he moved to a bigger shop a few doors down at no.14, importing a couple of the most up-to-date machines from Italy and making fresh pasta on-site (in the shop window!)
Luigi was always on the look-out for new food ideas and, in 1932, added gnocchi to his range, the first in the UK to do so. It took a while to take off but has proved over the years to be a hugely successful move.
We have a wonderful (but very fragile) diploma from 1935 which records that Luigi Ugo was awarded the Diploma of Grand Prix and Gold Medal in the General Trade International Exhibition in London. The category was ‘alimentary products and own gastronomic specialities’ which sounds as impressive as the Gold Medal award.
Luigi had a side-line in making fresh noodles & dumplings for the oriental community which was just beginning to lay down roots in Central London. His offerings were so successful that, during the 1930s and 1940s, a number of noodle bars sprang up around his shop in Gerrard St. We now know this area as Chinatown... and all thanks to an Italian!
To cope with increased demand and national distribution, the shop was closed in 1953 and the business moved to a production facility in Holloway. By this time Gerrard Street was awash with Chinese takeaways and restaurants and an Italian pasta shop looked quite out of place! Six years later, Luigi brought his son Leo into the business, who would go on and eventually take over the reins from his father in 1972.
In 1959 Ugo Foods first began supplying the John Lewis Partnership, making us John Lewis and Waitrose's longest-serving chilled food supplier. It all started with the John Lewis restaurant in Oxford Street, delivering pasta fresh to the store daily in the company van.
Always on the look-out for new food ideas ...and possibly ahead of our time... we were the first to introduce organic and wholewheat pastas from 1967. We were also one of the first to achieve Soil Association accreditation.
Following continued expansion, in 1972 Leo Ugo moved production to a purpose built factory in Kings Cross, which served the business until the late 90's, when the company moved again to the current premises in Hertfordshire.
Paul & his wife Kate took over from his father, Leo Ugo, in 1993 and became the 3rd generation of the same family to drive Ugo Foods forward. They injected fresh energy & enthusiasm into making the business grow, whilst upholding the family tradition for quality & innovation.
Paul developed a wheat-free pasta when Kate became intolerant to gluten during pregnancy. As time has gone on, the benefits of gluten-free and wheat-alternative options have become increasingly well-known - making our gluten-free pasta a huge success!
The company continued to grow, so much so that we outgrew our King's Cross site in the late 90s and moved to Hertfordshire. Paul & the team worked with suppliers to create bespoke production machinery allowing us to make the highest quality pasta whilst retaining traditional artisan methods. We have continued to expand on this site ever since, now occupying over 65,000 sq ft of manufacturing space.
In 2007, we entered the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For. Even though it was a national survey, we thought we stood a good chance of making the list. We ended up ranked 5th out of the whole of the UK. We haven't plucked up courage to enter since!
The Quality Food Awards are the most prestigious awards for food and drink products on sale in the UK. Judges include top chefs, home economists, nutritionists as well as food & drink writers. Winning a Q award in a food category is an outstanding achievement. We not only won our category but also took the top award on the night - the overall Food Product of the Year award!! We achieved this with our Crab & Crayfish Ravioli which judges described as 'a beautifully crafted dish. It ticked all the right boxes with the panel, from the thin pasta and generous filling to the clean list of ingredients, a luxury item that is great value for money'.
We're still picking up awards for our innovation, even to this day. In 2013, our Chickpea Fusilli was awarded the Innovation Award at the FreeFrom Food Awards, which recognised it's uniqueness and great taste, and most recently, our Special Edition Dell'Ugo Beetroot & Goats' Cheese Fiorelli was named Pasta Product Of The Year at the 2013 Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food (PAPA) Awards.
The same LOVE and care goes into every pack of Dell'Ugo pasta made today, just as it did when Luigi Ugo sold his first packet back in 1929. This new range of fresh pasta has been uniquely developed by our EXPERT CHEFS using BRITISH free range eggs and the FINEST ingredients from around the world.
It is a well known chefs trick to enhance and complete the dish by melting butter over the hot pasta, to add a silky, luxurious texture. So to add an extra bit of love, our chefs have developed a delicious range of infused butters made especially for you using freshly churned Somerset milk. Just melt on and enjoy.
Because your pasta deserves it!