A Dickson woman starts a pasta company named after a dog. From banks to linguine.

Lauren Cowan came to Middle Tennessee nearly a decade ago. A career in banking was his motivation.

Now she makes food for a living.

“I named a pasta company after my sausage dog, Louie, and it became my whole life,” Cowan said. “I never imagined it would feel so good.”

Cowan, 31, owns Burns-based Louie’s Linguine. She makes pasta from scratch. And she will also teach you how to do it. His transition from office and managing finances to cooking and handling pasta is all about perseverance, a quality product and growing Dickson County.

“I never planned to quit my banking career,” Cowan said. “I started Louie’s Linguine as a hobby and decided to sell pasta in markets just for a little extra cash. I never thought it would turn into a full time business.

Lauren Cowan, owner of Louie's Linguine.

“I really work seven days a week on pasta”

Cowan grew up in Virginia, attended college in North Carolina and moved to Nashville in 2013. She had visited the city several times and fell in love with it. She started working in finance to “pay the rent” and stayed in that business for 11 years.

Cowan has always enjoyed preparing and trying new foods. About three years ago, her main focus was on pasta.

“I knew it was different from the dried pasta you usually get at a grocery store, but I was never interested in making it for other people,” Cowan said.

However, she decided to give entrepreneurship a chance. She started selling the pasta at farmers’ markets.

“I sold a single bag of pasta at my first market which didn’t even break even, but I kept going back and it turned into a of work that I had to make a decision about my career,” Cowan said. .

Its original three pastas have now grown to 10 pasta flavors and three different ravioli fillings.

“I really work seven days a week on pasta, whether it’s making dough or sauces, testing recipes, packaging, Italian recovery,” Cowan said. “I’m so glad it turned into this.”

Louie's Linguine is an artisan pasta company based in Dickson County and owned by Lauren Cowan.

“A lot of people” asked about the courses

Cowan and her husband Brandon Blakenship moved to Burns in early 2020. Later that year, as part of a deal with owner Burns Mercantile, she began settling down with Linguine Business Cards from Louie and fresh pasta to take out on the porch of the trade on Saturday mornings. Word of locally made pasta started to spread. That fall, Cowan hosted a pop-up event at the Moss & Embers store in Burns. Louie’s Linguine has gained notoriety.

Morgan Kincaid was hosting a Christmas tree market in Burns for the first time in December and connected with Cowan as a vendor. After the tree market, the two stayed in touch and eventually co-created the Burns Farmers Market last year, Cowan said.

While selling pasta, Cowan received a question several times.

“I’ve had so many people ask me about pasta classes,” Cowan said. “Every time I made a deal, someone asked me about it. I went looking for a (class) space in early 2021 and nothing looked like a game.

But, late last year, Cowan found a place: The Loft on Main Street in downtown Dickson. She now hosts popular classes twice a month as well as private classes.

Louie's Linguine is a Dickson County-based artisan pasta company owned by Lauren Cowan.

Grocery vs. handmade

“Fresh” is the primary adjective Cowan uses to explain why Louie’s Linguine Pasta outperforms canned noodles at the grocery store.

“The texture of fresh pasta is very different from that of dry pasta! It’s more delicate and light in taste,” Cowan said.

Her pasta is usually made with eggs — though she can also make it vegan — which she says means fewer carbs than dry pasta.

“I make the dough by hand and incorporate herbs, citrus fruits, seasonings and vegetables into it. It gives the pasta its own flavor,” Cowan said.

Her best seller is Roasted Garlic Pasta, which she describes as having “a very mild, buttery garlic flavor that can pair well with anything.” Cowan also makes lemon pasta, which she says goes best with pesto or butter and Parmesan cheese.

“You don’t want to drown out the citrus flavor of the pasta itself,” she said.

Last summer, she combined compound butters with pasta. This season, she added homemade sauces and freshly baked baguettes for the farmer’s market.

Italian takeover

Cowan has also branched out by cooking Italian meals on Mondays at the Furnace Brewery in downtown Dickson.

Kincaid took ownership of Furnace in late December, and conversations soon began about how an “Italian takeover” would work at Furnace. After two trials, the kitchen was opened to the public in April. It is a success.

“Everything that comes out of the kitchen has been handcrafted,” Cowan said. “Pastas, sauces, seasonings. Dickson really wants and needs real Italian food and that’s my goal.

Other goals include moving to more markets in central Tennessee in addition to the Burns Farmers’ Market every Saturday, and moving to permanent retail space.

“I’ve always loved trying new foods and preparing foods for others, maybe that’s my love language; so having an entire food-centric business is a dream come true for me,” Cowan said.

Louie’s Linguine

Owner: Lauren Cowan

Information: @louieslinguine on Facebook and Instagram.

Course location: The Loft of Dickson, 134 North Main Street