tyler steinkamp

Fabulous People: Tyler Steinkamp

Marion’s Tyler Steinkamp is the owner of handmade pasta company, Pasta of the Prairie, along with his wife Lindsey. The small business started selling flavored pastas in 2016, eventually developing a line of soup mixes, pasta salad mixes and meal kits, too. Learn about Tyler Steinkamp…

Hometown: Spencer, Iowa

First job: Lifeguard 

Favorite ways to spend your free time in IA: Lindsey and I like to travel to different parts of Iowa usually hiking or biking, and checking out the local restaurants.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: I personally think our biggest accomplishment was building our business slowly. The pull to try to build the business faster, to upgrade equipment before it is truly needed has been hard to resist. Lucky for me, my wife grounds me in reality, and although we have made investments in our business, we have made those investments without debt. This has proven to be very important in 2020, which has been a tough year. Equipment to make and package pasta is not cheap. Our investments overtime using the money from the sales of pasta have allowed us to build this business slowly over time.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: A little over 80 percent of our sales come from direct sales to customers (examples: farmers markets, Iowa State Fair, Clay County Fair and craft fairs). We were only able to do one market in March that we have done in previous years. All of our other markets were shut down in 2020. This was a major blow to our sales, so we switched our focus. We started focusing on wholesale customers and online sales. We were able to more than triple the sales in these two categories compared to last year. This helped us significantly, and I am still hoping that by the end of the year, we might get close to break even. 

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: I would highly recommend starting small and building overtime. Have a second source of income to start. I am still currently working full time, and I have some very good people who work for me that help keep things going. 

Favorite quote: “Life’s not fair, so there is no use complaining about it. You just have to do the best with what you have.”

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: My primary line of work is agronomy, and it is one of my passions in addition to our pasta company. I actually started this business right after finishing my masters degree in Agronomy from Iowa State University.

What makes someone fabulous: The ability to keep a positive attitude no matter what is going on. This is something I am still working on, but it helps to surround yourself with positive people.

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