Our Story . . .

Joann and Bruce Harris
Joann and Bruce Harris, owners of Ellensburg Pasta Company.

At Ellensburg Pasta Company, our mission is to ensure that all who dine here receive a warm reception, an exceptional meal, courteous and efficient service, and a plan to return very soon.

Was this always our dream? As we continue to grow with our business, people frequently ask this question. The answer is actually two-fold: yes and no! Our combined 50 + years of working in the restaurant industry gave us a solid understanding of the physical and emotional stamina needed for success in the restaurant business. We knew that a commitment to weekends, nights, and long hours was essential if we were to serve our staff and customers with the level of leadership necessary to achieve authentic hospitality.

The Harris Family
The Harris Family — Angela, Bruce, Tyler, Joann, and Garrett.

Earlier in our marriage and family life, we had pursued our separate careers. Bruce was a sales associate for Food Services of America, and Joann was an elementary school teacher. With three children to raise and both of us working full time, we knew that the life of restaurateurs was not in the best interest of our family. However, our longing to put fresh ideas into practice and our desire to serve others through hospitality never dissipated. As we ourselves dined out, our meal-time conservation often focused on the topic of, “If We Had A Restaurant….” Together we would write out menus and toss around fun names for our restaurant, thus the “dream” element of our endeavor was ever present.

1929 opening of original Camozzy & Williams One-Stop Station.
Courtesy of the Ellensburg Public Library.

In the fall of 2005, the owners of Ellensburg Pasta Company, Toby and Jamie Williams, came to Bruce and asked if he’d like to buy the restaurant, which was located in the old Camozzy and Williams building on the edge of downtown Ellensburg at the corner of Main and 6th Streets. The saying “Timing is everything” played a huge part in our decision to enter the world of restaurant ownership. Our two oldest children, Angela and Tyler, were now in college, and Garrett, our youngest, was finishing up his sophomore year of high school. The desire to create and put our bank of ideas into action once again began to stir. For the next six months, as husband and wife, and best-friends, we consistently prayed and carefully researched and discussed all the pros and cons to making this huge change.

The final decision was a step of faith. We were at peace with our future, and on May 8, 2006 we officially opened the doors under our new corporation, B&J Pasta Co. Realizing that our past experiences alone would not be enough to launch a successful business, we began to read several different publications regarding pertinent restaurant issues. Joann happened upon a book, Setting The Table, by Danny Meyer. Inspiring, motivating, and squaring with our own philosophy, this book became her best-friend resource for the next year. One of our highest priorities became hiring the right people who shared our vision for outstanding food and warm, courteous, efficient service.

sidewalk scene from Ellensburg's early days
Restaurant’s location in 1908, at the corner of Main & 6th.
Courtesy of the Ellensburg Public Library.

Since we’ve opened, we’ve extended the lunch menu to include sandwiches and burgers. We expanded the dinner menu to include steaks and seafood entrees. We added a banquet room that seats 50 people and a full-service catering line. We attended “school” to become certified packers and have launched our Lemon Garlic Dressing into the retail world. Listening to staff and customer feedback has been crucial towards fine tuning our service and products. Come visit us soon and enjoy a unique dining experience voted “The Best of Kittitas County.”