As a college student, it can be difficult to access a home-cooked meal. Santino Trombino, Kenedi Kelso, Quinn Tilley and Tyler Bolz looked for a change this Sunday, September 18. Their vision, a drive-thru pasta bar with marinara and homemade pasta, has been a hit — both with students and on TikTok.
With over four million views and 625,000 likes to date, the band’s angel-haired antics have become an overnight hit on social media. Kenedi Kelso, a mass communication and entrepreneurship junior, said she wasn’t surprised when her TikTok exploded.
“I had joked with the boys that I was going to make them go viral. I just didn’t expect to get as big as he did,” Kelso said. “But I wasn’t surprised neither – a video I made of them building a two-story sofa earlier this year has had 4.3 million views. It showed that there was huge interest in three students doing crazy stuff.
Although the result was a success, the idea had humble beginnings. The group has been hosting pasta nights with friends for more than a year now, and Santino Trombino, a sophomore in construction science and management, said the idea for the drive-thru was based on the same concept.
“Think of it like having a big dinner with your friends,” Trombino said. “You provide the food and everyone pays you back.”
The idea of pasta driving has been very abstract for almost a year. Tyler Bolz, an embedded computing junior, said a random viewer was the latest push.
“The Thursday before we did the drive-thru, a kid walked by and said, ‘Yo, you’re the pasta boys! and we were like, ‘You know who we are?’ Said Bolz. “We decided then that we had to please our fans and make the community proud.”
Britt’s Garden Acres annual pumpkin patch set to reopen
The group described their success as organized chaos, but with Trombino in the kitchen, Bolz in the dining room, Kelso in marketing and Tilley as their all-around assistant, the concept is already turning into a well-oiled machine. Quinn Tilley, a junior in economics, said each member of the group has a specific role.
“I’m not very good at cooking, but I can clean up and help out where needed,” Tilley said. “Tyler is pretty good at talking to people and meeting everyone, and Tino does all the cooking.”
After seeing positive feedback from the Kansas State community, the group plans to limit the number of people who can come.
“We will probably buy double the amount we bought last time,” Trombino said. “We also hope to do different things. Our next night, we’re making cannolis and vodka sauce instead of the classic marinara, and we’re so glad we did.
As the crew prepares for its next drive-in event on October 9, they said they share a common goal: to bring people together in the Manhattan community. College is about creating experiences, creating memories, and having fun. The drive-thru of Trombino, Kelso, Tilley and Bolz made just that possible, through something as simple as a home-cooked meal.