Since late 2009, Coppa has been a neighborhood favorite for the same simple reasons: handmade pasta, whole animals, and pizza. For the past 3 years pasta has been made fresh every morning by the same person. The clock at Coppa could be set by Elfido. He is reliable, he is thorough and he always offers a smile, which is step 1 in making delicious, house-made pasta.
He starts the morning with an extra-large Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and by the time he gets ready for lunch, he has turned pounds of flour into piles of pasta, all different shapes and sizes. Bucatini, cavatelli, tagliatelle, rigatoni - they are his labor, his craft, his trade. His cell phone sits in a quart container, a common kitchen speaker, booming music that reminds him of home. Elfido is from Guatemala, and though it’s been thirteen years since he has returned, he likes to listen to Guatemalan DJ Radio while he works.
Now residing in Dorchester, Elfido says Guatemala is well represented within the large Spanish culture there. He lives with some cousins but on his days off he doesn’t spend any time showing off his pasta making skills for them.. They cook his favorite Spanish foods. He’s not sure when, but he looks forward to going back for a long overdue homecoming.
He blushed telling me about his two kids, thriving with their educations there, gushing a bit as he showed me their latest pictures. He says he doesn’t want them coming to America, now. But that he anticipates the day he’ll go home to see them. Until then, we’re so happy that he calls Coppa home, and keeps our pasta cravings in check each day.