WGBY’s Marc Rhinehart films Michael Tesoro in his Windsor, MA kitchen

WGBY’s show Making It Here was very popular; so popular in fact that this season it’s returned as a part of Connecting Point!

Making It Here focuses on people in the region who are passionate about what they do, and I can’t think of a better description for that then Michael and Robin Tesoro from Ooma Tesoro’s Marinara Sauce, the subject of our next Making It Here segment.

Michael took something that was near and dear to his heart – the marinara sauce that his beloved grandmother used to make, the one he learned how to cook at her side as a child – and is doing his best to make a business out of it. Mike started out making jars right in his own kitchen, and going directly to markets from Williamstown to Maine in his battered old truck, competing with the industrial sauce-making giants we all know from the supermarket shelves and commercials. Mike even went so far as to load a carriage on the back of his bicycle and bike across the Cape and Islands peddling his wares (pun fully intended). And you know what? It’s working. Ooma Tesoro’s has grown leaps and bounds from its humble beginnings in Michael and Robin Tesoro’s small kitchen on a Berkshires mountaintop in Windsor, Massachusetts.

And all of this is happening right in our own backyard here in Western New England. As a consequence of his growing company, Mike has been working on expanding operations from a community kitchen in Greenfield into the industrial kitchen of the former Adams Middle School, which will turn a mothballed, unused eyesore into something new and vital. Michael and Robin will be hiring more staff, buying more things locally, both contributing to and benefiting from the local economy… sustainability at its finest!

What Michael Tesoro is doing embodies the spirit of our region: he has the vision, the drive, and the desire – he’s creating something out of nothing more than his grandmother’s love – and along the way, he’s helping to make where we live a better and more interesting place.

The next time you eat a spoonful of pasta and sauce, feast on that thought!