Upper Michigan natives Jessica Barbera and Larry Lapachin are passionate about pasties. Jessica is a 3rd generation pasty maker. Her grandparents started (and parents currently operate) a pasty shop in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Jessica helped her grandparents and parents make the dough and prepare the vegetables; she learned from the best.
After a short career as a nurse in Colorado and Illinois, she made her way back to the Upper Midwest to find herself closer to her family and to completely change careers as it turns out. Having been the daughter of a chef and no stranger to professional kitchens growing up, she feels at home in the kitchen.
Larry was raised on a steady diet of pasties in a traditional Yooper mining family. Larry attributes his pasty obsession to his mom's weekly pasty dinner. Dissatisfied with the typical pasty, Larry and Jessica began making a new style of pasty in 2003. With Larry's professional career in Environmental Science a vision of healthier grown meats and veggies became a focus to both, so the search for locally raised food began and has been a matter of the utmost importance to both Jessica and Larry. Lar even became a bit of a pasty-snob, but thinks that everyone should enjoy a delicious and healthy pasty!
Joe's Pasty Shop in Rhinelander, WI has been a success since opening in 2003 and with some recent changes to their operating style became more efficient in their pasty making efforts. Jessica and Larry hope to continue making the best pasty for years to come.