Bare Naked Noodles, Birmingham's only maker of fresh, homemade pasta and sauces, opened its brand new shop on Highway 280 in June 2018. Bare Naked Noodles is owned and operated by Linda Croley, an independent business owner with an interesting background.
In 2015, Linda retired from the world of financial advisement after 25 years with Wells Fargo. She had already launched Bare Naked Noodles a year earlier as a side hustle but decided the time was right to make her new small business a priority. A native of Long Island, New York, Linda learned all about making pasta from her Italian grandmother and had a desire to share this culinary art with her adopted hometown, Birmingham, Alabama.
"I Grew up at the knee of my Italian grandmother and she taught me everything she knew about pasta making," Linda said. "When I retired in 2015 I decided to pursue my passion for making pasta."
She initially set up shop in a commercial kitchen at the Chef's Workshop, eventually earning a spot at Pepper Place. There, she was able to connect with local farmers, chefs, and other advocates passionate about fresh, healthy, locally produced food.
"That changed my whole world because I was able to demo the pasta and the sauces to tons of people and get their feedback," Linda said. "I started using ingredients from the farmers at the market and I use as much locally grown items as I possibly can."
As for the name Bare Naked Noodles, well, it was dreamed up in the best way possible - over a few glasses of vino. "I was sharing a bottle of wine with some friends and we started talking about what to name my company," Linda explains. "One of my friends came up with the name Bare Naked Pasta because my pasta is so good it doesn't need to get dressed."